What Is Metaphor?


onsider the way native speakers of English often talk about life—either their own lives or those of others:

People might say that they try to give their children an education so they will get a good start in life. If their children act out, they hope that they are just going through a stage and that they will get over it. Parents hope that their children won’t be burdened with financial worries or ill health and, if they face such difficulties, that they will be able to overcome them. Parents hope that their children will have a long life span and that they will go far in life. But they also know that their children, as all mortals, will reach the end of the road. (based on Winter, 1995, p. 235)

This way of speaking about life would be regarded by most speakers of English as normal and natural for everyday purposes. The use of phrases such as to get a good start, to go through a stage, to get over something, to be burdened, to overcome something, a long life span, to go far in life, to reach the end of the road, and so on would not count as using particularly picturesque or literary language. Below is a list of additional phrases that speakers of English use to talk about the concept of life:
He’s without direction in life. I’m where I want to be in life. I’m at a crossroads in my life. She’ll go places in life. He’s never let anyone get in his way. She’s gone through a lot in life.

Given all these examples, we can see that a large part of the way we speak about life in English derives from the way we speak about journeys. In light of such examples, it seems that speakers of English make extensive use of the



domain of journey to think about the highly abstract and elusive concept of life. The question is: Why do they draw so heavily on the domain of journey in their effort to comprehend life? Cognitive linguists suggest that they do so because thinking about the abstract concept of life is facilitated by the more concrete concept of journey.

1. Conceptual versus Linguistic Metaphor In the cognitive linguistic view, metaphor is defined as understanding one conceptual domain in terms of another conceptual domain. (The issue of precisely what is meant by “understanding” is discussed in section 3.) Examples of this include when we talk and think about life in terms of journeys, about arguments in terms of war, about love also in terms of journeys, about theories in terms of buildings, about ideas in terms of food, about social organizations in terms of plants, and many others. A convenient shorthand way of capturing this view of metaphor is the following: conceptual domain a is conceptual domain b, which is what is called a conceptual metaphor. (The words in boldface in the text are keywords that are defined in the glossary.) A conceptual metaphor consists of two conceptual domains, in which one domain is understood in terms of another. A conceptual domain is any coherent organization of experience. Thus, for example, we have coherently organized knowledge about journeys that we rely on in understanding life. I discuss the nature of this knowledge later in this chapter. We thus need to distinguish conceptual metaphor from metaphorical linguistic expressions. The latter are words or other linguistic expressions that come from the language or terminology of the more concrete conceptual domain (i.e., domain b). Thus, all the preceding expressions that have to do with life and that come from the domain of journey are linguistic metaphorical expressions, whereas the corresponding conceptual metaphor that they make manifest is life is a journey. The use of small capital letters indicates that the particular wording does not occur in language as such, but it underlies conceptually all the metaphorical expressions listed underneath it. The two domains that participate in conceptual metaphor have special names. The conceptual domain from which we draw metaphorical expressions to understand another conceptual domain is called source domain, while the conceptual domain that is understood this way is the target domain. Thus, life, arguments, love, theory, ideas, social organizations, and others are target domains, while journeys, war, buildings, food, plants, and others are source domains. The target domain is the domain that we try to understand through the use of the source domain. But of course in order to be able to suggest the existence of conceptual metaphors, we need to know which linguistic metaphors point to their existence. In other words, we have to be able to distinguish linguistic metaphors from nonmetaphorical (i.e., literal) linguistic items. Given a piece of discourse, we



need to be able to identify the metaphorical linguistic expressions (including words). A group of researchers, called the Pragglejaz Group, designed the following metaphor identification procedure (mip):
1. Read the entire text-discourse to establish a general understanding of the meaning. 2. Determine the lexical units in the text-discourse: 3. (a) For each lexical unit in the text, establish its meaning in context, that is, how it applies to an entity, relation, or attribute in the situation evoked by the text (contextual meaning). Take into account what comes before and after the lexical unit. (b) For each lexical unit, determine if it has a more basic contemporary meaning in other contexts than the one in the given context. For our purposes, basic meanings tend to be • More concrete (what they evoke is easier to imagine, see, hear, feel, smell, and taste) • Related to bodily action • More precise (as opposed to vague) • Historically older. Basic meanings are not necessarily the most frequent meanings of the lexical unit. (c) If the lexical unit has a more basic current-contemporary meaning in other contexts than the given context, decide whether the contextual meaning contrasts with the basic meaning but can be understood in comparison with it. 4. If yes, mark the lexical unit as metaphorical. (Pragglejaz Group, 2007, p. 3)

To see how this works, let us take an example. Let us assume that one of our example sentences above He’s without direction in life is part of a larger stretch of discourse and that we interpret the discourse as being about somebody’s life. We also know what the lexical units in the sentence are: he, is, without, direction, in, and life. In examining what the contextual meanings of these lexical units are, we find that he refers to a male person mentioned previously in the text; is means “exist”; without denotes “not having something”; direction indicates the person’s general attitude or behavior, that is, the manner the person behaves; in expresses a state; and life is a state in which one is alive. These are the contextual meanings of the lexical units. Now two of these words have a more basic meaning than their contextual meanings: direction and in. The noncontextual meaning of direction, which is the way an entity moves, is more basic than its contextual meaning, the manner in which someone acts or behaves, because it is more concrete. The same applies to in, where the noncontextual meaning is more concrete than the contextual one. Since the two contextual meanings contrast with their noncontextual meanings but can be understood in comparison with them, we can identify the two words as being metaphorically used in our imagined discourse. Not all cases of metaphor identification are as straightforward as



the two words we have just discussed, but the procedure serves us well as a good rule of thumb in many cases of identifying linguistic metaphors in a text.

2. Some Examples of Conceptual Metaphor To see that we do indeed talk about these target domains by making use of such source domains as war, journey, food, let us consider some classic examples of each from Lakoff and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By. Following the conventions of cognitive linguistics, throughout this volume I use small capitals for the statement of conceptual metaphors and italics for metaphorical linguistic expressions.
an argument is war Your claims are indefensible. He attacked every weak point in my argument. His criticisms were right on target. I demolished his argument. I’ve never won an argument with him. You disagree? Okay, shoot! If you use that strategy, he’ll wipe you out. He shot down all of my arguments. love is a journey Look how far we’ve come. We’re at a crossroads. We’ll just have to go our separate ways. We can’t turn back now. I don’t think this relationship is going anywhere. Where are we? We’re stuck. It’s been a long, bumpy road. This relationship is a dead-end street. We’re just spinning our wheels. Our marriage is on the rocks. We’ve gotten off the track. This relationship is foundering. theories are buildings Is that the foundation for your theory? The theory needs more support. We need to construct a strong argument for that. We need to buttress the theory with solid arguments. The theory will stand or fall on the strength of that argument. So far we have put together only the framework of the theory. ideas are food All this paper has in it are raw facts, half-baked ideas, and warmed-over theories.



There are too many facts here for me to digest them all. I just can’t swallow that claim. Let me stew over that for a while. That’s food for thought. She devoured the book. Let’s let that idea simmer on the back burner for a while.

This is just a small sample of all the possible linguistic expressions that speakers of English commonly and conventionally employ to talk about target domains. We can state the nature of the relationship between the conceptual metaphors and the metaphorical linguistic expressions in the following way: the linguistic expressions (i.e., ways of talking) make explicit, or are manifestations of, the conceptual metaphors (i.e., ways of thinking). To put the same thing differently, it is the metaphorical linguistic expressions that reveal the existence of the conceptual metaphors. The terminology of a source domain that is used in the metaphorical process is one kind of evidence for the existence of conceptual metaphor. But it is not the only kind, and I survey other kinds of evidence in later chapters. An important generalization that emerges from these conceptual metaphors is that conceptual metaphors typically employ a more abstract concept as target and a more concrete or physical concept as their source. Argument, love, idea, and social organization are all more abstract concepts than war, journey, food, and plant. This generalization makes intuitive sense. If we want to fully understand an abstract concept, we are better off using another concept that is more concrete, physical, or tangible than the abstract target concept for this purpose. Our experiences with the physical world serve as a natural and logical foundation for the comprehension of more abstract domains. This explains why in most cases of everyday metaphors the source and target domains are not reversible. For example, we do not talk about ideas as food or journey as love. This is called the principle of unidirectionality; that is, the metaphorical process typically goes from the more concrete to the more abstract but not the other way around.

3. Conceptual Metaphor as a Set of Mappings So far we have used the word “to understand” to characterize the relationship between two concepts (a and b) in the metaphorical process. But what does it mean exactly that a is understood in terms of b? The answer is that there is a set of systematic correspondences between the source and the target in the sense that constituent conceptual elements of b correspond to constituent elements of a. Technically, these conceptual correspondences are often referred to as mappings. This use of the word “understand” in the characterization of conceptual metaphor is not acceptable to all metaphor scholars. Especially those who are interested in the real-time, or online, process of metaphorical under-



standing object to the use of the word here, arguing that when we talk metaphorically about, say, life as a journey, the highly conventional journey-related expressions do not necessarily evoke images of a journey in the real-time, online process of understanding. (I come back to this issue in chapter 3, section 2.4.) Whether they do or do not is an empirical issue. At this point, however, it seems safest to understand the word “understand” as being synonymous in the definition of metaphor to the words construe or conceive, which commit us less to the real-time, online aspect of understanding and can be more easily used in the long-term sense of what metaphorical understanding involves. That is, we have a conceptual metaphor when we construe a more abstract domain (or concept) through a more physical domain (or concept) offline–either by means of long-term memory or as a result of a historical-cultural process (i.e., not necessarily online or in real time). In chapter 19 I refer to this level of metaphor as the “supraindividual level.” The use of the word construe in this reworded definition comes with an added advantage: it makes the definition of conceptual metaphor coherent with that of grammatical constructions used in cognitive linguistics, in that grammatical constructions also function as ways of construing aspects of experience in this more general sense (see chapter 16). Let us now look at some cases where elements of the source domain are mapped onto elements of the target domain. Let’s take the love is a journey conceptual metaphor first. When we use the sentence We aren’t going anywhere, the expression go somewhere indicates traveling to a destination, in this particular sentence, a journey that has no clear destination. The word we obviously refers to the travelers involved. This sentence then gives us three constituent elements of journeys: the travelers, the travel or the journey as such, and the destination. However, when we hear this sentence in the appropriate context, we will interpret it to be about love, and we will know that the speaker of the sentence has in mind not real travelers but lovers, not a physical journey but the events in a love relationship, and not a physical destination at the end of the journey but the goal(s) of the love relationship. The sentence The relationship is foundering suggests that somehow relationships are conceptually equated with the vehicles used in journeys. The sentence It’s been a bumpy road is not about the physical obstacles on the way but about the difficulties that the lovers experience in their relationship. Furthermore, talking about love, the speaker of We’ve made a lot of headway will mean that a great deal of progress has been made in the relationship, and not that the travelers traveled far. And the sentence We’re at a crossroads will mean that choices have to be made in the relationship, and not that a traveler has to decide which way to go at a fork in the road. Given these interpretations, we can lay out a set of correspondences, or mappings between constituent elements of the source and those of the target. (In giving the correspondences, or mappings, we reverse the target-source order of the conceptual metaphors to yield source-target. We adopt this con-

In talking about the elements that structure a target domain. Can you think of the goal of a love relationship without at the same time thinking of trying to reach a destination at the end of a journey? Can you think of the progress made in a love relationship without at the same time imagining the distance covered in a journey? Can you think of the choices made in a love relationship without thinking of choosing a direction in a journey? The difficulty of doing this shows that the target of love is not structured independently of and prior to the domain of journey. or progress aspect of love without making use of the journey domain. but this is just a slightly “disguised” way of talking about destinations given in the source. or mappings. In a way.) Source: JOURNEY the travelers the vehicle the journey the distance covered the obstacles encountered decisions about which way to go the destination of the journey Target: LOVE the lovers the love relationship itself events in the relationship the progress made the difficulties experienced choices about what to do the goal(s) of the relationship ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ This is the systematic set of correspondences. This is not so. In the same way. To see that this is so. go. make up a conceptual metaphor.WHAT IS METAPHOR? 9 vention to emphasize the point that understanding typically goes from the more concrete to the more abstract concept. difficulty. it might seem that the elements in the target domain have been there all along and that people came up with this metaphor because there were preexisting similarities between the elements in the two domains. Another piece of evidence for the view that the target of love is not structured independently of any source domains is the following. and it comes from a word meaning “step. that characterize the love is a journey conceptual metaphor. it is often difficult to name the elements without recourse to the language of the source. the word goal has an additional literal or physical use—not just a metaphorical one. the word progress also has a literal or physical meaning. From this discussion. It was the application of the journey domain to the love domain that provided the concept of love with this particular structure or set of elements. try to do a thought experiment. The domain of love did not have these elements before it was structured by the domain of journey. we talk about the goals associated with love. Constituent elements of conceptual domain a are in systematic correspondence with constituent elements of conceptual domain b. Try to imagine the goal. it was the concept of journey that “created” the concept of love. We can now consider another example of how correspondences. . choice. or mappings.” These examples show that many elements of target concepts come from source domains and are not preexisting. In the present example.

such as companies. They had to prune the workforce. There is now a flourishing black market in software there. The linguistic expressions used metaphorically must conform to established mappings. the most successful stage the beneficial consequences Notice that in this case as well. and it is only for the purposes of analysis that we bring the mappings into awareness. In other words. flower (g) fruits In light of the discussion so far. Our company is growing. . This correspondence can be seen in all of the mappings. However. This seems to be characterized by the following set of mappings: Source: plant (a) the whole plant (b) a part of the plant (c) growth of the plant (d) removing a part of the plant (e) the root of the plant (f) the flowering (g) the fruits or crops ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ Target: social organization the entire organization a part of the organization development of the organization reducing the organization the origin of the organization the best stage. not any element of b can be mapped onto any element of a.” The mappings (indicated by the letters used above) and the matching expressions that make them manifest in the plants metaphor are listed below: (b) branch (c) is growing (d) prune (e) root (f) blossom. when we know a conceptual metaphor. we use the linguistic expressions that reflect it in such a way that we do not violate the mappings that are conventionally fixed for the linguistic community. between the source and the target. His business blossomed when the railways put his establishment within reach of the big city.10 METAPHOR social organizations are plants He works for the local branch of the bank. It is not suggested that this happens in a conscious manner. constituent elements of plants correspond systematically to constituent elements of social organizations. and the words that are used about plants are employed systematically in connection with organizations. we can ask: What does it mean then to know a metaphor? It means to know the systematic mappings between a source and a target. This knowledge is largely unconscious. except mapping (a). The organization was rooted in the old church. which is merely assumed by the sentence: “He works for the local branch of the bank. or correspondences. Employers reaped enormous benefits from cheap foreign labour.

There appear to be two metaphors operative in figuring out the riddle. Oedipus’s life. Oedipus arrives in Thebes where he finds that a monster. This reading is reinforced by the fact that much of the myth is a tale of Oedipus’s life in the form of a journey. given the many abstract domains. The Sphinx asks him the riddle: Which is the animal that has four feet in the morning. and in his old age supports himself with a stick. Oedipus must have been helped by the correspondences that obtain between the target concept of life and the source domain of day. midday to mature adulthood. everyone has been devoured when Oedipus arrives. If we want to get a good idea of the range of conceptual metaphors in English. This metaphor is evoked by the frequent mention and thus the important role of feet in the riddle. and maybe less important. at least on this occasion. Since he knew these mappings. who walks upright in maturity. is saved in part by his knowledge of metaphor.WHAT IS METAPHOR? 11 4. As part of the myth. The Importance of Metaphor But how important is metaphor in our lives and how important is it to study? One of the best (but not quite serious) illustrations of the seriousness and importance of metaphor can be found in the myth of Oedipus. Oedipus answers: Man. Another. Oedipus thus becomes the king of Thebes. do all of them require an equal amount of metaphorical understanding? (b) What are the most common source concepts? That is. Can there be a more important reason and better motivation to find out about metaphor? 5. who in infancy crawls on all fours. The Sphinx is defeated and kills herself. They include the following: (1) Common source and target domains. and evening to old age. two at midday. So far. How was Oedipus able to solve the riddle? At least a part of this must have been his knowledge of conceptual metaphor. She poses riddles to everyone on their way to Thebes and devours them if they are unable to solve the riddles. The first is the metaphor the life of human beings is a day. he offered the correct solution. is guarding the road to the city. Some Questions About Metaphor Given this characterization of metaphor in cognitive linguistics. called the Sphinx. we have to ask three specific questions: (a) What are the most common abstract targets in English? That is. The answers to these questions will make up much of the rest of this book. and three in the evening? Without hesitation. Morning corresponds to infancy. given the large number of potential source domains from the . several important questions arise. All in all. metaphor that may have played a part is human life is a journey. Feet evoke the concept of journey that may provide a clue to the successful solution of the riddle through the human life is a journey metaphor.

we would have completely arbitrary conceptual metaphors. What can the view of metaphor as presented here contribute to the study of literature? Indeed. function. and embodiment. is it the case that any source can be used to comprehend any target? These issues are discussed in chapter 2. It was claimed that conceptual metaphors can be characterized by the formula a is b. Partial mappings. We need to ask which parts of the source are mapped onto which parts in the target. this does not seem to be the case. given the most common targets and sources. The basis of metaphor. Only a part of b is mapped onto a part of a. Metaphor in literature. The characterization of the distinct classes will enable us to see the subtle differences in the nature. Cognitive models. What are the limitations that possibly motivate metaphorical links between a and b? I take up this issue in chapter 6. Kinds of metaphor. I will show that mappings can be. What then are the most common ways in which conceptual metaphors are realized in a culture? I try to provide an answer in chapter 5. It was pointed out that there is a potentially vast range of target domains and an equally huge range of source domains. This is the topic of chapter 3. only partial. However. Only some connections or pairings between sources and targets are acceptable. What is the relationship between metaphors and concepts as represented by cognitive models? I will show through the analysis of the emotion domain that metaphors can create several distinct prototypical concepts for the same emotion. These issues will be explored in chapter 8. The language of literature is often metaphorical. This would assume that an entire target domain would be understood in terms of an entire source domain. The issue is addressed in chapter 7. This obviously cannot be the case because it would mean that one conceptual domain would be exactly the same as another. This indicates that there are certain limitations on what can become conceptual metaphors. It was mentioned above that we use primarily linguistic evidence for the existence of conceptual metaphors. and power of metaphor. Emotion metaphors may be embodied and their embodiment may take different shapes. If any source domain could be paired with any target domain. what is the relationship between everyday metaphor and metaphor used in literature? This issue is discussed in chapter 4. But there are other kinds of available evidence as well. Conceptual metaphors manifest themselves. in ways other than linguistic.12 METAPHOR (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) physical world. Are all conceptual metaphors like the ones we have dealt with so far? It will be shown that there are distinct kinds within the larger category of conceptual metaphor and that it is possible to classify metaphors in a variety of ways. and are. . or are realized. Nonlinguistic realizations of conceptual metaphors. do all of them participate in metaphorical understanding to the same degree? And (c) Which sources are used to understand which targets? That is. metaphors.

Some conceptual metaphors appear to cluster together to form larger subsystems of metaphor. the concept of war applies not only to arguments but also to love. Metaphor is important not only in idioms but also in many other areas of the study of language. and so on. We have seen that conceptual metaphor consists of a set of mappings between a source and a target. What can linguistics gain from the cognitive approach to metaphor? I discuss some examples of the usefulness of the cognitive view of metaphor in the study of language in chapter 16. Indeed. What is the scope of metaphorical source domains and what determines it? I deal with the issue in chapter 10. (10) Metaphor systems. the concept of fire not only to love but also to anger. and complement this system. Given the rich knowledge we have about concrete source domains. One aspect of language where metaphor figures prominently is idioms. (16) Blending and metaphor. the concept of building not only to theories but also to societies. individually. Do we have any idea what some of these larger subsystems are? What might the overarching metaphorical system of English look like? I describe systems of metaphor in chapter 11. do they also vary subculturally. most important.WHAT IS METAPHOR? 13 (8) Metaphorical entailments. One of the most significant of these is the theory of “network models. enhance. Most of the specific source domains appear to characterize not just one target concept but several. and geographically? I offer some tentative answers to these questions in chapter 14. (11) Another figure: metonymy. . to what extent do we make use of this rich knowledge about sources beyond the basic constituent elements as discussed in the mappings above? Why isn’t everything carried over from b to a? What determines what is not carried over? An explanation is offered in chapter 9. For instance.” This new development is the topic of chapter 17. How can we characterize the relationship between idioms and metaphor on the basis of the cognitive linguistic view? I address the issue in chapter 15. Metaphor is closely related to several other “tropes”. what kind of variation is there in metaphor? In addition to varying cross-culturally. (9) The scope of metaphor. how much and what knowledge is carried over from source b to target a? In other words. (12) The universality of conceptual metaphors. (15) Metaphor in the study of language. Idioms are often metaphorical. (13) Cultural variation in metaphor. What are the similarities between them. (14) Idioms and metaphor. Other metaphors tend to be culture-specific. Some conceptual metaphors appear to be at least near-universal. There are some recent developments that add to. to metonymy. The cognitive view of metaphor is not a closed system of ideas. and how do they differ from each other? I try to characterize the relationship between metaphor and metonymy in chapter 12. What can possibly determine the universality of these metaphors? The issue is raised and answered in chapter 13.

A highly systematic . In conceptual metaphors. Their book contains many of the conceptual metaphors discussed in the chapter. To know a conceptual metaphor is to know the set of mappings that applies to a given source-target pairing. as well as more linguistic examples for these metaphors. SUMMARY We have made a distinction between conceptual metaphors and metaphorical linguistic expressions. Understanding one domain in terms of another involves a set of fixed correspondences (technically called mappings) between a source and a target domain. The idea that conceptual metaphor is constituted by a set of mappings between a source and a target domain is discussed primarily on the basis of the same paper by Lakoff. The metaphorical linguistic expressions make manifest particular conceptual metaphors. one domain of experience is used to understand another domain of experience. Helpful comments on correspondences. The conceptual domain that we try to understand is called the target domain. There are several issues that arise in connection with this view of metaphor. can be found in Lakoff and Kövecses (1987). The answers to these issues are discussed in subsequent chapters of the book. Several authors deal with the issue of metaphor identification and the research of metaphor in general in a volume edited by Cameron and Low (1999b). This set of mappings obtains between basic constituent elements of the source domain and basic constituent elements of the target. or mappings. It is these mappings that provide much of the meaning of the metaphorical linguistic expressions (or linguistic metaphors) that make a particular conceptual metaphor manifest. There is now a systematic procedure for the identification of metaphorically used words and expressions in real discourse. This tool is known as metaphor identification procedure (MIP). Lakoff (1993) is a survey of a more sophisticated later version of the cognitive linguistic view. What is the function of metaphors in discourse? Do we simply use preestablished conventional metaphors when we produce texts? Do the metaphors used in conversations differ from those used in written discourse? I answer these questions in chapter 18. we must focus on these issues. and the conceptual domain that we use for this purpose is the source domain. To understand the metaphorical process in some of its complexity. A fully explicit recent version of the metaphorical identification procedure (MIP) can be found in Pragglejaz Group (2007). Metaphors gain their full value when they occur in real discourse. The life is a journey metaphor is discussed by Lakoff (1994) and Winter (1995). FURTHER READING Lakoff and Johnson (1980) introduce the notion of conceptual metaphor. Steen (1999) offers an “identification procedure” for metaphorical expressions.14 METAPHOR (17) Metaphor in discourse.

the damage in the war to the belligerents 4. Which metaphor—that is. Match the corresponding constituent elements of the source (indicated by numbers) and the target domains (indicated by letters) in the love is war metaphor. the belligerents in the war 3. to surrender to a belligerent (a) the damage in love to the lovers (b) to allow the partner to take control (c) the dominance of a partner (d) the events of the love relationship (e) the lovers in the love relationship (f) the plans for the love relationship 2. EXERCISES 1. The chapter outlined the former and stated that the source domain prompts and limits the structure and characterization of the target. what are the mappings? 1. Think about the differences in conceptualization in the case of the love is a journey and the love is a game conceptual metaphors. which source domain and which target domain— can you recognize in the linguistic expressions I’ll take my chances. Criticisms of the early forms of the cognitive view of metaphor can be found in Holland (1982). List aspects of the target domain that are unique to the source domain of game but are not present in the source domain of journey. Ortony (1988). the battles in the war 2. or mappings. Which source would you rather choose for your conceptualization of love? . Rakova (2002) and Haser (2005) challenge cognitive linguistics in general and conceptual metaphor theory in particular on philosophical grounds. What mappings characterize the theories are buildings conceptual metaphor? With the help of the examples given in the chapter. between elements of the source and those of the target domains.WHAT IS METAPHOR? 15 theoretical exploration of the many issues surrounding metaphor identification is Steen (2008). 5. He’s holding all the aces. In other words. lay out the set of correspondences. and Wierzbicka (1986). I’ve got an ace up my sleeve. the strategies for the war actions 5. What linguistic expressions can you collect as examples of the metaphor time is money? 4. the victory of a belligerent 6. which prototypically characterize the source domain of journey but do not chareacterize the source domain of game. Then name some aspects of the target domain (love). The odds are against me. It’s a toss-up? 3.

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the findings based on this research are consistent with the findings based on the survey of metaphor dictionaries: roughly the same conceptual domains stand out as the most common sources and targets in both. and Roget’s Thesaurus. but I believe that what I found is consistent across the metaphor dictionaries that were consulted. What. as well as a set of mappings between them. to mention the best-known ones. I have also looked at several metaphor dictionaries to find out which sources and targets occur most frequently. I tried to determine which sources are employed most commonly to understand which common targets. which clearly delineated physical concepts are used most commonly in understanding which less clearly delineated abstract concepts? I use two kinds of evidence in examining this issue. are the most commonly used source and target domains? In other words. such as the Master Metaphor List. the Metaphors Dictionary. I did not do a systematic study. the Dictionary of Everyday English Metaphors. the question of the reversibility of source and target domains. then. Again. that is. Another issue that I pay some attention to in this chapter is that of the directionality of conceptual metaphors.2 Common Source and Target Domains I t was shown in chapter 1 that conceptual metaphors consist of a source domain and a target domain. the metaphor section of Rodale’s Phrase Finder. This issue was already mentioned in 17 . I have surveyed most of the available literature on conceptual metaphor in order to see which sources and which targets stand out quantitatively in this body of research. It was also noted that the source domains are typically more concrete or physical and more clearly delineated concepts than the targets. The other source of evidence comes from the research of scholars working within the cognitive linguistic tradition. which tend to be fairly abstract and less-delineated ones. One kind is provided by various metaphor dictionaries and lists of conceptual metaphors. These dictionaries include the Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary.

shoulders. that in most cases source and target domains are not reversible. 1. 1. of the cognitive linguistic view of meaning. This does not mean that we make use of all aspects of this domain in metaphorically understanding abstract targets. it is clearly delineated and (we believe) we know it well. I return to the discussion of embodiment in several later chapters (especially chapters 6 and 8). face. I have supplemented the list of sources offered by this metaphor dictionary with some additional ones from my survey of metaphor research. well over two thousand have to do with the human body. including the head.1. did a comprehensive study of a recent American collection of metaphorical idioms titled “Figurative Idioms” by George Nagy. The Human Body The human body is an ideal source domain. Réka Hajdú (who has since become Réka Benczes and a colleague of mine). The aspects that are especially used in metaphorical comprehension involve various parts of the body. heart. since. scholars such as Bernd Heine and others have abundantly demonstrated its central importance in human conceptualization in languages and cultures around the world. and others. I found that the most systematic comprehensive survey is provided by Alice Deignan’s Collins Cobuild English Guides 7: Metaphor (cited as the Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary in this volume). legs. She counted all the body-based metaphorical idioms in the dictionary and found that out of twelve thousand idioms. however. . in addition. indeed. back. Here I briefly mention the most frequent sources. As can be expected. In this chapter. for us.18 METAPHOR chapter 1. namely. Common Source Domains In studying the most common source domains. the human body plays a key role in the emergence of metaphorical meaning in English and other “Western” languages and cultures. The “embodiment” of meaning is perhaps the central idea of the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor and. I consider a much greater number of examples that will allow us to be more confident in one of the basic claims of the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor. hands. This remarkable finding shows that a large portion of metaphorical meaning derives from our experience of our own body. Some examples follow: the heart of the problem to shoulder a responsibility the head of the department One of my students. bones.

a bitch. Plants People cultivate plants for a variety of purposes: for eating. we are aware of the many actions we perform in relation to plants. This way of understanding nonphysical domains is also very common in languages of the world. The body parts of animals are also commonly used in the metaphorical conceptualization of abstract domains. as Heine and his colleagues show. we distinguish various parts of plants. as indicated by the example “It will be a bitch to pull this boat out of the water.5. Some examples include: a healthy society a sick mind She hurt my feelings. and so on.4. for pleasure. a cow. work. a dog. the term bitch denotes any difficult situation. Thus. Some examples follow: a towering genius He’s in ruins financially.COMMON SOURCE AND TARGET DOMAINS 19 1.3. the fruit of her labor Exports flourished last year. we talk about someone being a brute. and we recognize the many different stages of growth that plants go through. 1. a snake. for making things.” In this instance. a sly fox. When we use the concept metaphorically. and so on. a tiger. Both the static object of a house and its parts and the act of building it serve as common metaphorical source domains. But the metaphorical use of animal terms is not limited to human beings. and so on.2. 1. storage. Health and Illness Both the general properties of health and illness and particular illnesses frequently constitute metaphorical source domains. Buildings and Construction Human beings build houses and other structures for shelter. Human beings are especially frequently understood in terms of (assumed) properties of animals. Animals The domain of animals is an extremely productive source domain. 1. She constructed a coherent argument. Here are some examples: a budding beauty He cultivated his friendship with her. .

people living in human society have engaged in economic transactions of various kinds. handing over the commodity. just to mention the most important ones. These transactions often involve the use of money and commodities in general. She invested a lot in the relationship. 1. Games and Sport People play and they invent elaborate activities to entertain themselves. both the machines and tools and the activities related to them show up as metaphorical expressions. Our understanding of various abstract things is based on this scenario or parts of it. and for pleasure.9.8. Below are some examples: Spend your time wisely. Cooking and Food Cooking food as an activity has been with us ever since the beginnings of humanity. actions. 1. Cooking involves a complex process of several elements: an agent. The commercial event involves a number of entities and actions: a commodity. Here are some examples: . as illustrated by the following examples: the machine of democracy conceptual tools She produces a book every year. Again.20 METAPHOR 1.” Additional examples from the domain of games and sport include: to toy with the idea He tried to checkmate her. money. For example. ingredients.7. 1. Machines and Tools People use machines and tools to work. I tried to save some energy. Games and sport are characterized by certain properties that are commonly used for metaphorical purposes. The activity with its parts and the product serve as a deeply entrenched source domain. Money and Economic Transactions (Business) From early on. He’s a heavyweight politician. play. and this property occurs in examples such as “He plays by the rules” and “We want an even playing field. many games have rules. recipe.6. fight. and a product. and handing over the money.

Light and Darkness Light and darkness are also basic human experiences. We often use the temperature domain metaphorically to talk about our attitude to people and things.10.COMMON SOURCE AND TARGET DOMAINS 21 What’s your recipe for success? That’s a watered-down idea. Let us see some examples: a dark mood She brightened up. He cooked up a story that nobody believed. we also use fire to cook and to destroy things.” But the source domain of fire enables us to observe an interesting aspect of many conceptual metaphors. As an example.” The same process producing “metaphor chains” can be noticed in the body metaphor discussed above. a typical source for many conceptual metaphors. The properties of light and darkness often appear as weather conditions when we speak and think metaphorically. that is. 1. the properties of warmth and cold sometimes appear as weather conditions. and its mechanism is unaccounted for. and some others. . We feel warm and cold as a result of the temperature of the air that surrounds us. 1. the human body can also function as a target domain.11. hate. In addition to using fire to keep ourselves warm. Often. can also be understood metaphorically in terms of other domains. as when we say “I feel a little rusty today. love. which produces linguistic metaphors such as “The fire devoured everything” and “The fire was already licking at the first row of houses. Here are a few examples to illustrate: in the heat of passion a cold reception an icy stare a warm welcome As the example with the word icy shows. in the case of conceptual metaphors. a person can be described as “burning with love” or “smoldering with anger. The domain of fire is related to that of heat. such as rage. For example. source domains can become target domains. a typical source domain can also be further conceptualized by another source. that is. This source domain is especially common in the metaphorical conceptualization of passions and desires. Heat and Cold Heat and cold are extremely basic human experiences. consider the fire is a hungry animal metaphor. Thus.” This “chain-producing” aspect of metaphor has not been explored in the cognitive linguistic approach. the domain of fire itself.

Movement and Direction Movement—either self-propelled or otherwise—is yet another basic experience. or it can be stationary (as in the case of shaking. When it involves a change of location. These forces effect various changes in the thing acted on. Inflation is soaring. The forces take many shapes in the physical world: waves. animals. despite the representative nature of the list. fire. they live in a physical environment with all kinds of objects and substances in it. the objects and substances have all kinds of properties. However.12. the people live in houses. Common source domains also include the various properties of objects and substances. We see these forces as operating on and affecting us in many ways. The metaphorical conceptualization of several abstract domains in terms of forces is reflected in the following examples: She swept me off my feet. Obviously. such as their shape. pulling. Forces There are various kinds of forces: gravitational. 1. and mechanical. and agents pushing. Further sources include various basic entities. it is associated with direction: forward and backward. I do not have the foggiest idea. and many more. or sending another thing. This is indicated by the examples: He went crazy. She was in a haze of confusion. and plants. they move around and travel. such as containers. they get sick and get better. electric. they have bodies. for instance). color. it seems. She solved the problem step by step. wind. 1. size. there are people. transparency. they eat. up and down. weight. Our economy is galloping ahead. Changes of various kinds are conceptualized metaphorically as movement that involves a change of location. I come back to these in chapter 3. we get a sense of the most common source domains and the kind of world that our most common metaphors depict. Don’t push me! I was overwhelmed. There are as many different effects as there are different forces. substances. In this world. sharpness. driving. the physical environment . and several others. this is not a complete survey of domains that participate in conceptual metaphors as sources.13. You’re driving me nuts.22 METAPHOR a cloud of suspicion There was a cloud over their friendship. hardness. physical objects. Movement can involve a change of location. magnetic. storm.

and engage in various other transactions with other people. Because emotions are largely comprehended via force metaphors. Emotion The domain of emotion is a superior target domain. I can only survey here the most common target domains and their most important sources. they “cry out” for metaphorical conceptualization.” 2. fear. we have examples like She was deeply moved. but it is exactly the simplified nature of this world that enables us to make use of parts of it in creating more complex abstract ones. pride. sincerity. Thus. I am starved for affection.COMMON SOURCE AND TARGET DOMAINS 23 affects the people. work. It is also often understood in terms of heat. love. diffuse. and lack clear delineation. He unleashed his anger. etymologically. It is also comprehended as a force. shame. straightness. 2.1. and so on are primarily understood by means of conceptual metaphors. 2. Common Target Domains In the same way as the source domains apply to several targets. Morality Moral categories such as good and bad. as well as honesty.2. it is not surprising that. Emotion concepts such as anger. Desire In regard to metaphorical conceptualization. The source domains of emotion concepts typically involve forces. not just a physical one but a physiological force like hunger or thirst. He’s burning to go. Among these. 2. She is hungry for knowledge. economic transactions. the word emotion derives from the Latin e meaning “out” and movere meaning “to move. the targets also have several sources. sadness. desire is similar to emotion. are largely understood by means of more concrete source concepts. This is an extremely simplified world. as a result. Target domains are abstract.3. . courage. and their opposites. He was bursting with joy. honor. and the people make tools. forces. happiness. Some examples include: The jacket I saw in the shopwindow pulled me into the store.

24 METAPHOR light and dark. Politics Politics has to do with the exercise of power. He searched for the memory. Society / Nation The concepts of society and nation are extremely complex.5. such as seeing. Politics has many additional aspects that are understood . Some examples to demonstrate this follow: She’s grinding out new ideas. This situation makes it no surprise that people. She resisted the temptation. and this complexity calls for metaphorical understanding. and up-down orientation are especially important. 2. as the examples below indicate: I’ll pay you back for this. Thought How the human mind works is still little known. 2. try to understand the mind by resorting to metaphors of various kinds. He hammered the point home. I see your point.6. He’s a shady character. That was a lowly thing to do. both lay persons and experts. Common ways of comprehending society and nation involve the source concepts of person and family: What do we owe society? neighboring countries a friendly nation the founding fathers of the country Other aspects of society are viewed as machines or the human body: the machinery of democracy the functioning of society the ills of society 2.4. He’s a straight shooter. Political power is conceptualized as physical force. Less-active aspects of thought are understood in terms of perception. Rational thought is comprehended as work—the manipulation of objects in a workshop.

including games and sport. as shown by the examples: Their friendship is in full flower. as shown by the examples: Germany built a strong economy. Metaphorically. She gave me a lot of information. They had to work on their relationship. The fight erupted over abortion. 2. the growth of the economy They pruned the budget.COMMON SOURCE AND TARGET DOMAINS 25 by means of a variety of further source domains. love. and buildings. meanings. objects. These and similar concepts are metaphorically viewed as plants. and sending. Economy Economy is usually comprehended via metaphor. Here are some examples to illustrate this: You are putting too many ideas into a single sentence. and a transfer of this message from the speaker to the hearer along some channel. 2.9. It’s a budding relationship. a message consisting of some meaning encoded in linguistic expressions. There was a great deal of haggling over the issue. direction). Its most commonly used source domains include building. respectively. It should be pointed out here that this metaphor is not the only one for communication. and journey (movement. and the transfer of the message as containers.8. They built a strong marriage.7. and war. The president plays hardball. They forced the opposition out of the House. but it represents the most common “folk theory” of what . business. plants. we view the linguistic expressions. That’s a dense paragraph. Communication We conceive of human communication as involving a speaker and a hearer. machines. and marriage. Human Relationships Human relationships include such concepts as friendship. 2. China’s economy is galloping ahead.

which are necessarily metaphorical.26 METAPHOR human communication involves. or subjects. similar to the concepts of society and nation. His father passed away. in the following week Time goes by fast. is conceptualized as a person: Father. and cold: The baby will arrive soon.10. since we have no experience of them. light. Many common everyday expressions demonstrate this: The time will come when . 2. it is metaphorically day. Christmas is coming up soon. making a chair. plowing. reading. and others. As noted in chapter 1. whereas death is viewed as departure. darkness. King. Time Time is a notoriously difficult concept to understand. Time flies. sheep. as well as night. . It follows from the metaphor that believers are viewed as God’s children. life is understood as a journey to some destination. Events and Actions Events and actions are superordinate concepts that comprise a variety of different kinds of events and actions. Religion Key aspects of religion involve our view of God and our relationship to God. The major metaphor for the comprehension of time is one according to which time is an object that moves. . or whatever are kinds of actions. life after and before death. 2.12. 2. and the like. This metaphor is dealt with in greater detail in chapter 6. Grandpa is gone. 2. Other aspects of religious experience involve the conceptualization of such notions as eternity. Birth is conceived of as arrival. and so on. (Notice that to use a personal pronoun to replace the word God would already require metaphorical understanding: Should we refer to God as it or him or she?) God. doing a project in the lab. Aspects .13. warmth. Life and Death The metaphorical conceptualization of life and death is pervasive in both everyday language and literary works.11. For example. Moreover. Shepherd.

you would have to identify all the linguistic metaphors in the corpus. social groups and processes (society. in chapter 11 on metaphor systems I attempt to work out this “fit. morality. mostly confirms but also often challenges and requires us to modify the findings of conceptual metaphor theory. Despite the several different sources of information. as far as I can tell. to the best of my knowledge. However. life. And this is just for one language. Here are some examples that show this: He went crazy. purpose. been investigated by corpus linguistic means. to discover all of them. the particular issue of which domains constitute the most common sources and targets has not. as depicted in the most common source domains. religion). desire. While we commonly talk about the illness of society. politics. fits and “maps onto” the groups of common target domains described above. As a matter of fact. thought). (There seem to be no mechanical. The superordinate concepts of events and actions are difficult to place in this scheme. means. First.” at least in its most general outline. and so on. and personal experiences and events (time. the suggestions here concerning the most common source and target domains can only be tentative.COMMON SOURCE AND TARGET DOMAINS 27 of events and actions are often comprehended as movement and force. computer-assisted ways of doing this. the task is a tall order! The survey in this chapter also enables us to reinforce the conclusion that conceptual metaphors are mostly unidirectional. human relationships. the machinery of political decision-making. death. cause. These aspects include such notions as change. She turned thirty last month. By the time all the linguistic and conceptual metaphors would be identified. Unfortunately. The goal sent the crowd into a frenzy. And to identify all of them manually in any large corpus would probably take an extremely long time. Corpus linguistics has emerged as a remarkable new tool in the study of metaphor that. As can be seen. Clearly. we would have to find all the source and target domains before we could see what the most common ones are. so the linguistic and conceptual metaphors could only be identified at a particular time. communication). consider what it would involve to find out what the most common source and target domains are by corpus linguistic means. Language changes constantly. You’re driving me nuts. economy. although remarkable advances have been made in the study of numerous related issues. However. She has reached her goals in life. Another difficulty is to see exactly how the simplified world. language would change again. these common target domains can be roughly classified as psychological and mental states and events (emotion. and . Such work has begun in metaphor studies in the past decade. More precise and more reliable ways of finding the most common source and target domains are needed.) There are also other difficulties.



the heat of passion, we do not or much less commonly talk about the society of illness, the political decision-making of machinery, or the passion of heat. In some cases, however, the source and target can be reversed. Take the anger is a storm metaphor, with examples such as “It was a stormy meeting” or “He stormed out of the room.” But we can also have a storm is anger (an angry person), as exemplified by expressions such as “angry waves” or “The storm was raging for hours.” However, when source and target domains of conceptual metaphors are reversed, there typically occur certain stylistic shifts in the value of the linguistic metaphors. In this example, the reversal of the usual source-target pairing results in expressions that are not everyday but literary or formal. There is, though, a kind of metaphor that seems to be reversible. Linguistic metaphors such as “This surgeon is a butcher” and “My home is a jail”— that is, ones that have the form noun-is-noun—seem to be readily reversible. Take, for instance, the metaphorical statement “This surgeon is a butcher.” Its reversed version is also acceptable: “This butcher is a surgeon.” However, in this case there is a shift of meaning. While the statement of the surgeon being a butcher is considered to be negative, the reverse statement of the butcher being a surgeon is considered as something positive. Reversibility is found commonly in linguistic metaphors of the form a is b as studied by Sam Glucksberg (where a and b are nouns) that are based on subcategorization, as in the present example: the surgeon is classified as a butcher and the butcher as a surgeon. Such subcategorization-based metaphors seem to work both ways if the participating concepts are roughly at the same level of abstraction and if they represent a particular “meaning focus” in their source domain status. (The notion of “meaning focus” is discussed in chapter 10.) Surgeon and butcher, home and jail, and many other cases can be reversed because they are more or less on the same level and because they carry particular meaning specifications as source domains, such as “works with imprecise tools” (in contrast to surgeons) in the case of butcher and “(physical, mental, emotional, etc.) confinement” in the case of jail. I reanalyze this metaphor in chapter 19.


In this chapter, I have surveyed some of the most common source and target domains. These source domains include the human body, health and illness, animals, machines and tools, buildings and construction, plants, games and sport, cooking and food, economic transactions, forces, light and darkness, heat and cold, and movement and direction. The common targets include emotion, desire, morality, thought, society, religion, politics, economy, human relationships, communication, events and actions, time, and life and death. The target domains fall into such higher groups as psychological and mental states and events, social groups and processes, and personal experiences.



These findings provide overwhelming evidence for the view that conceptual metaphors are unidirectional: they go from concrete to abstract domains—the most common source domains are concrete, while the most common targets are abstract concepts. In this way, conceptual metaphors can serve the purpose of understanding intangible, and hence difficult-to-understand, concepts.


Metaphors We Live By by Lakoff and Johnson (1980) is the classic study of the contemporary view of metaphor in cognitive linguistics. It deals with several source and target domains. Gibbs (1994) discusses several of the source and target domains I have mentioned in this chapter and provides evidence for the ubiquity, or omnipresence, of metaphor in everyday thought. These are basic works that should be read by anyone interested in the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor. Jäkel (1995) describes a large system of metaphors relating to the mind and thought, in which the mind is viewed as a workshop and thought as the manipulation of tools and objects. Jäkel (1993) tests the notion of the unidirectionality of metaphor and finds that in the majority of cases conceptual metaphors are not reversible. In contrast, Johnson (1987) emphasizes a different metaphorical source domain in discussing the mind and human thought processes: understanding-as-seeing. Johnson (1992) is a discussion of morality as moral accounting. Kövecses (1986, 1988, 1990, 1991a, 1991b) are analyses of various emotion concepts. Kövecses (1994) discusses Alexis de Tocqueville’s metaphors for society in general and American democracy in particular. Benczes (2008) investigates the metaphor systems of North American slavery, as depicted by slave narratives. Kövecses (2000a) explores the system of emotion metaphors, making use of Talmy’s force dynamics. Lakoff (1987) contains, in case study one, a detailed examination of metaphors for sexual desire. Lakoff (1990, 1993) looks at metaphors for events and actions in general and finds that they are structured by movement and force as their source domains. Lakoff (1993, 1994) and Radden (1997) examine the concept of time as conceptualized in terms of moving objects. Evans (2004) is a book-length study of time. Fauconnier and Turner (2008) is a reappraisal of the metaphorical structure of time in terms of blending theory. Lakoff (1992) contains a discussion of some of the most important metaphors for nation and politics. Lakoff (1996) explores in detail the American conception of morality and its relation to politics. This book also contains discussions of metaphors for God. Lakoff and Turner (1989) investigate metaphors for life and death, as well as time, in literary texts. Quinn (1987, 1991) offers intensive studies of the American view of marriage on the basis of interview materials. Radden (1995) describes idioms that have movement and direction as their source domain. Reddy (1979) is a study of the metaphors for communication and introduces some of the basic insights into the nature of metaphor in the cognitive linguistic view. Adamson et al. (1996) and Rohrer (1995) analyze the American political scene using the cognitive linguistic approach to metaphor. Sweetser (1990) contains a chapter in which she describes a system of metaphors for the mind and thought that she calls



the Mind-as-Body metaphor. Talmy (1988) calls attention to the importance of “force dynamics” in the study of language and cognition; he treats the notion of force as a major source domain in the conceptualization of a variety of abstract concepts. Turner (1987) analyzes the system of kinship in English as a source domain in works of literature. Lakoff and Nunez (2000) investigate the metaphorical foundations of mathematics. Books on the corpus linguistic treatment of conceptual metaphors include Deignan (2005), Charteris-Black (2004), and Stefanowitch and Gries, eds. (2007). Kövecses (2008 and in press) are a defense of conceptual metaphor theory against some of the criticism offered by corpus linguists. Metaphor lists and dictionaries George Lakoff, Jane Espenson, and Adel Goldberg. (1989). Master Metaphor List (http://araw.mede.uic.edu/~alansz/metaphor/ METAPHORLIST.pdf) Andrew Goatly. (2002–2005). Metalude (http://www.ln.edu.hk/lle/cwd/ project01/web/home.html) Alice Deignan. (1995). Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary J. I. Rodale. The Phrase Finder Dictionary of Everyday English Metaphors Elyse Sommer with Dorrie Weiss. (1996). Metaphors Dictionary Roget’s Thesaurus


1. Below you can read part of a magazine article from Time, June 10, 1996. What are the source and target domains of the italicized metaphorical expressions in the following passage? Which way now? In this year of elections that could redirect history—in Israel, Russia, the U.S.—the first has been decided. Israelis have picked a Prime Minister in conservative 46-year-old Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu. And the change in policies that this country will now pursue will have consequences affecting half the globe. Sometimes statesmen stumble blindly over an epochal crossroads they do not know is there. Others are given the chance to see the fork in the road ahead and decide deliberately which way to go. Folly, wrote historian Barbara Tuchman, is when leaders knowingly choose the wrong path. (“The Right Way to Peace?” p. 28) 2. In the chapter, you read about God being conceptualized in several different ways. Look at the following quotes from hymns (religious songs) and decide which conceptualization is used. (a) Dearest children, God is near you, Watching o’er you day and night And delights to own and bless you If you strive to do what’s right. (b) The Lord my pasture will prepare . . . feed me . . .



And guard me with a watchful eye My noonday walks he will attend And all my silent midnight hours defend. (c) Beneath his watchful eye, His saints will securely dwell That hand which bears all nature up Shall guard his children well. Why should this anxious load Press down your wary mind Haste to your Heavenly Father’s throne And sweet refreshment find. 3. The following quotation hides a different kind of religious conceptualization. How would you describe this? What metaphors do you recognize? Jesus, Savior pilot me Over life’s tempestuous sea Unknown waves before me roll, Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal. Chart and compass came from thee: Jesus, Savior, pilot me. 4. In the chapter we described forces as one of the typical source domains. In the following metaphorical linguistic examples, identify the various kinds of forces and the abstract domains to which these forces apply. (a) I was drawn to him. (b) The film caused a storm of controversy. (c) After a whirlwind romance the couple announced their engagement in July and were married last month. (d) . . . the hurricane of grief and anger swept the nation. 5. Read “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech, delivered by Malcolm X at http:// www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/065.html, and list common source and target domains you discover in the text.

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Kinds of Metaphor

n chapter 1, we saw that metaphor can be characterized with the formula A where the target domain (a) is comprehended through a source domain (b). This comprehension is based on a set of mappings that exist between elements of a and elements of b. To know a conceptual metaphor is to know this set of mappings. It was also pointed out that metaphor in the cognitive linguistic view means primarily conceptual metaphor, as opposed to linguistic metaphor. That is, we distinguish between a conceptual metaphor with the form A IS B and its metaphorical linguistic expressions. The metaphorical expressions that characterize A IS B formulas are regarded as the linguistic realizations or manifestations of underlying conceptual metaphors. It was noted, however, that conceptual metaphors can be realized in other than linguistic ways (such as myths)—a point to which we return in chapter 5. The question arises whether all conceptual metaphors are like the ones we have characterized so far. In this chapter, I show that there are distinct kinds of conceptual metaphor and that it is possible to classify metaphors in a variety of ways. These include classifications according to the conventionality, function, nature, and level of generality of metaphor. (In chapter 10, I further distinguish metaphors according to their complexity, classifying them as “simple” or “complex.”) It is possible to classify metaphors in several other ways, but these are the ways that play an especially important role in the cognitive linguistic view.



1. The Conventionality of Metaphor A major way in which metaphors can be classified is their degree of conventionality. In other words, we can ask how well worn or how deeply entrenched a metaphor is in everyday use by ordinary people for everyday purposes. This use of the notion of conventionality is different from the

these are some of the most ordinary and natural ways to talk about these subject matters. social organizations. digest in connection with ideas. Thus. ideas are food: I can’t digest all these facts. In addition. ideas are food. we saw as examples in chapters 1 and 2 were all highly conventionalized. For example. go our separate ways in connection with love. while conventional metaphorical linguistic expressions are well worn. they are well worn or even cliched. semiotics.34 METAPHOR way this concept is usually used in linguistics. Thus.” especially as this is used in explaining the nature of linguistic signs (where it is pointed out that “form” and “meaning” are related to each other in an arbitrary fashion). The metaphorical expressions given as illustrations of these conceptual metaphors are highly conventionalized. a conventional way of thinking about theories is in terms of buildings and about life in terms of a journey. both conceptual and linguistic metaphors can be more or less conventional. and so on. both conceptual and linguistic. are deeply entrenched ways of thinking about or understanding an abstract domain. theories are buildings: We have to construct a new theory.. we can say that a metaphor is highly conventional or conventionalized (i. It is customary to refer to the conventional nature of linguistic expressions with the adjective conventionalized and thus talk about conventionalized (rather than conventional) metaphorical linguistic expressions. For native speakers of English. cliched ways of talking about abstract domains. grow in connection with company. most speakers would not even notice that they use metaphor when they use the expression defend in connection with arguments. The metaphors. and theories are buildings. love. Consider again the following metaphors: argument is war: I defended my argument. construct in connection with theories. Conventional conceptual metaphors. Since there are both conceptual metaphors and their corresponding linguistic expressions. in that speakers of English use them naturally and effortlessly for their normal. the issue of conventionality concerns both conceptual metaphors and their linguistic manifestations. love is a journey: We’ll just have to go our separate ways. Thus. love is a journey. well established and deeply entrenched) in the usage of a linguistic community. everyday purposes when they talk about such concepts as argument. life. such as argument is war. the term “conventional” is used here in the sense of well established and well entrenched. . In fact. there are conventional ways of talking about the same domains.e. or head start in connection with life. However. life is a journey: He had a head start in life. and the philosophy of language. social organizations are plants: The company is growing fast. The typical application of the term in these fields is synonymous with that of the term “arbitrary. that is. we use the verb to construct to talk about some aspects of theories and the noun head start to talk about some aspects of life.

He employs linguistic expressions from the journey domain that have not been conventionalized for speakers of English. And that has made all the difference. and we’re not even getting to see a bad show from the bleachers. we probably couldn’t find these linguistic expressions in a dictionary or hear them every day from ordinary speakers for everyday purposes of communication. cliched linguistic expressions to talk about life in English. the author of this line had the conventional conceptual metaphor life is a journey in mind but used unconventionalized linguistic expressions that make it manifest. I want to get off. . There are many creative speakers who can produce novel linguistic metaphors based on conventional conceptual metaphors. Both of these examples are linguistic metaphors that manifest the same conceptual metaphor. This is the metaphor that American politician Ross Perot used. graffiti writers. and I— I took the one less traveled by. While it may be difficult for most of us to conceive of life in other than the journey conceptual metaphor. certain speakers of Black English. but the conceptual metaphor that they realize remains conventional. To illustrate. let us give an example of both: life is a journey (a) He had a head start in life. Some well-known categories of these speakers in English include sports journalists. The example in (b) comes from Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.” Obviously. authentic users of slang. strictly conceived. Another conceptual metaphor for life is life is a sporting game. writers of song lyrics. and others. the linguistic expressions that he employs are unconventionalized. These examples of the life is a journey conceptual metaphor appear to support the widespread view that novel metaphorical expressions have their source in poetry or literature.KINDS OF METAPHOR 35 Highly conventional metaphors are at one end of what we can call the scale of conventionality. (b) Two roads diverged in a wood. Obviously. (church) ministers. they strike us as unconventional and novel. At the opposite end of the scale. when he commented in June 1992 on the nation’s high medical costs with the following words: “We’re buying a front row box seat. But unconventionalized metaphorical expressions do not only come from the realm of arts. As linguistic metaphors. “two roads diverged” and “I took the one [road] less traveled by” are not worn out. politicians. we find highly unconventional or novel metaphors.” While he uses here a conventional conceptual metaphor for life. consider first the following cliché: Stop the world. To give a couple of examples of this. Frost uses the conventional life is a journey metaphor in unconventional ways.

36 METAPHOR While it is easy to find unconventionalized metaphorical linguistic expressions that realize conventional conceptual metaphors. These are all highly conventional ways of conceptualizing love. they are age-old and deeply entrenched ways of thought concerning love in Anglo-American (and even more generally in Western) culture. illness (She has it bad). Do people think of love in terms of concepts other than these? Not really. It is clear that the notion of love will be very different for those who “live by” this metaphor. the collaborative work of art metaphor emphasizes the more action-oriented aspects of it. in addition to love is a journey. and so on. poets. Take the concept of love. as an example. game (She’s playing hard to get). While the conventional metaphors mentioned above focus largely on passive aspects of romantic love. unconventional metaphor. economic exchange (She invested a lot in that relationship). it is less easy to find unconventional conceptual metaphors for a given target domain. the costs and the benefits of the project. Love is metaphorically conceptualized in many ways. the two lovers should be able to work out their common goals. physical forces (She attracts me irresistibly). The unconventionality of this conceptual metaphor is shown by the fact that Lakoff and Johnson do not provide any metaphorical linguistic expressions to demonstrate it. The reason for this. and so on. The love is a collaborative work of art metaphor is the product of two ordinary people attempting to make sense of their everyday love experiences. physical unity (We are as one). However. If you smile. it frowns back. and scientists also often do the same. when experiences fall outside the range of these conventional mechanisms or when people cannot make sense of them in a coherent way. in all probability. the responsibilities that they do and do not share. It seems that the understanding of love through these source domains provides a sufficiently comprehensive and coherent notion of the concept. Magee used an inventive. we understand it in terms of fire (burning with love). One example of this occurred when William P. they may and often do employ less-conventional source domains. Lakoff and Johnson point out one such unconventional conceptual metaphor: love is a collaborative work of art. the premises of the work. if you frown. war (She eventually surrendered). Artists. the ratio of control and letting go in the creation. is that there are no such conventionalized expressions. insanity (I’m madly in love). natural forces (He was swept off his feet). magic (I’m enchanted). If love is a collaborative work of art. . it smiles back at you. Most people comprehend their love experiences and lead their love lives via such conventional conceptual metaphors. they offer us new ways and possibilities in the form of new. unconventional conceptual metaphors to see the world around us. Magee said at a United Nations meeting in 1993: “Life is a mirror.” life is a mirror is not a conventional conceptual metaphor. rapture (He was high on love).

For example: . Times are oriented with their fronts in their direction of motion. The time is motion conceptual metaphor exists in the form of two special cases in English: time passing is motion of an object and time passing is an observer’s motion over a landscape. For example. In other words. we get the following mappings: Times are things. the cognitive function of these metaphors is to enable speakers to understand target a by means of the structure of source b. 2. On this basis. Given the time is motion metaphor. the source domain provides a relatively rich knowledge structure for the target concept. conceptual metaphors can be classified according to the cognitive functions that they perform. the stationary thing is the deictic center. and their motion. Structural Metaphors So far in this book we have been concerned with what we call structural metaphors. the other is stationary. Given the basic elements and the background condition. These kinds of metaphor often coincide in particular cases. past times are behind the observer. Future times are in front of the observer. the concept of time is structured according to motion and space. The Cognitive Function of Metaphor When we ask what the function of metaphor is for ordinary people in thinking about and seeing the world. the observer is fixed and times are objects moving with respect to the observer. There is a background condition that applies to this way of understanding time: the present time is at the same location as a canonical observer. three general kinds of conceptual metaphor have been distinguished: structural. This set of mappings structures our notion of time in a clear way. their locations.1. In the first version. we understand time in the following way: We understand time in terms of some basic elements: physical objects.KINDS OF METAPHOR 37 2. and orientational. we’re asking a question about the cognitive function of metaphor. For the purposes of a clearer exposition. In this kind of metaphor. ontological. this understanding takes place by means of conceptual mappings between elements of a and elements of b. One thing is moving. As noted in chapter 1. The passing of time is motion.

The time for action has arrived. . We’re getting close to Christmas. . without specifying exactly what kind of object. substances.38 METAPHOR time passing is motion of an object The time will come when . Ontological Metaphors Ontological metaphors provide much less cognitive structuring for target concepts than structural ones do. Thanksgiving is coming up on us. He passed the time happily. . . In the second version. (Ontology is a branch of philosophy that has to do with the nature of existence. In the weeks following next Tuesday . we cannot use these highly general categories to understand much about target domains. or container is meant. For example: time passing is an observer’s motion over a landscape There’s going to be trouble along the road. This is the job of structural metaphors. Since our knowledge about objects. substance. I’m looking ahead to Christmas. and containers is rather limited at this general level. Without the metaphor it would be difficult to imagine what our concept of time would be. On the preceding day . The time is motion metaphor (as specified in the mappings and the differences in the two versions) accounts for a large number of linguistic metaphors in English. What this means is that we conceive of our experiences in terms of objects. substances. Time is flying by. But it is nevertheless a cognitively important job to assign a basic status in terms of objects. in general. We’re coming up on Christmas. for our notion of time. substances. and containers. and the like to many of our experiences. Most structural metaphors provide this kind of structuring and understanding for their target concepts.2. The kinds of experiences that require this the most are those that are not clearly . times are fixed locations and the observer is moving with respect to time. 2. The time has long since gone when . hence understanding.) Their cognitive job seems to be to “merely” give a new ontological status to general categories of abstract target concepts and to bring about new abstract entities. . which provide an elaborate structure for abstract concepts. . The mappings not only explain why the particular expressions mean what they do but also provide a basic overall structure. . . His stay in Russia extended over many years. as discussed.

g. we can conceptualize it as “our possession. or abstract. and computer are not humans.. a clearing in the forest) ⇒ physical and nonphysical surfaces (e. Inflation is eating up our profits.g. the experience so conceptualized can be structured further by means of structural metaphors. In general. This way we can attempt to understand more about it. or to identify aspects of the experience that has been made more delineated. inflation.. we do not really know what the mind is. catching up. Life has cheated me. For example. in love) Given that undelineated experiences receive a more delineated status via ontological metaphors.g.. cheating. we can linguistically refer to fear as my fear or your fear. Source Domains Target Domains physical object ⇒ nonphysical or abstract entities (e. vague. giving someone a call) substance ⇒ activities (e. For example. The computer went dead on me. the mind) ⇒ events (e. Cases like this are the least noticeable types of conceptual metaphor.g. human qualities are given to nonhuman entities. speakers can use these metaphors for more specific jobs: (1) to refer to. going to the race).KINDS OF METAPHOR 39 delineated. but we conceive of it as an object (note the use of the word what in the first part of this sentence). we can easily provide more structure for it by means of the “machine” metaphor for the mind (as in: “My mind is rusty this morning”). as the examples below show: His theory explained to me the behavior of chickens raised in factories. but they are given qualities of human beings. we can begin to understand them a little better. ontological metaphors enable us to see more sharply delineated structure where there is very little or none. such as explaining. land areas. life. and dying.g. In personifying nonhumans as humans. Personification makes use of one of the best source domains we have—ourselves. In personification. cancer.g.. but it also abounds in everyday discourse. conceiving of fear as an object. eating. .. Theory. actions (e. a lot of running in the game) container ⇒ undelineated physical objects (e.g.. the visual field) ⇒ states (e. If we conceptualize the mind as an object. (2) Once a “nonthing” experience has received the status of a thing through an ontological metaphor..” Thus. We can conceive of personification as a form of ontological metaphor. to quantify. Personification is common in literature. Cancer finally caught up with him.

center.40 METAPHOR 2. control is up. It has been pointed out that various spatial image schemas are bipolar and bivalent. the “whole” versus “not whole” opposition is at work here. no goal. such as up-down. He sank into a coma.” we simply mean that certain target concepts tend to be conceptualized in a uniform manner. while their opposites. as in He is half the man he used to be. That was a low-down thing to do. please. sad is down: I’m feeling up today. one domain (concept) is used to understand another? It was pointed out in chapter 1 that metaphorical understanding can mean essentially two things (actually. He is under my control. please. balance. more is up. Upward orientation tends to go together with positive evaluation. we can return to the question raised in chapter 1: What does it mean that when we have a conceptual metaphor. instead. virtue is up.4. 2. all the following concepts are characterized by an “upward” orientation. He’s really low these days. goal. is to make a set of target concepts coherent in our conceptual system. But positive-negative evaluation is not limited to the spatial orientation up-down. Understanding Metaphor In light of the discussion of the cognitive function of conceptual metaphors in this section. For example. it is remarkable that in English the phrase half the man denotes someone who is not positively viewed. He couldn’t rise above his emotions. He fell ill. periphery. while downward orientation with a negative one. conscious is up. sick is down: Lazarus rose from the dead. lack of virtue is down: She’s an upstanding citizen. and the like. By “coherence. The name “orientational metaphor” derives from the fact that most metaphors that serve this function have to do with basic human spatial orientations. and front are mostly regarded as positive. while their “opposites” receive a “downward” orientation. Their cognitive job. unconscious is down: Wake up.” which would be more in line with the cognitive function these metaphors perform. center-periphery. less is down: Speak up. rational is up. lack of control is down: I’m on top of the situation. whole. nonrational is down: The discussion fell to an emotional level. not whole. healthy is up. even more. as Ray . Just to give one example. no link. Obviously. Keep your voice down. Thus. It would perhaps be more appropriate to call this type of conceptual metaphor “coherence metaphor.3. happy is up. and back are seen as negative. Orientational Metaphors Orientational metaphors provide even less conceptual structure for target concepts than ontological ones. out. imbalance. link. in.

One such language is Mandarin Chinese. several studies in the past decade or so have indicated that the comprehension of metaphorical expressions (i.KINDS OF METAPHOR 41 Gibbs’s work suggests). Metaphorical understanding can be the short-term process of comprehending something in real time. Several researchers opposing conceptual metaphor theory as a theory of online understanding claim that the understanding of most of the highly conventional metaphorical language used as linguistic metaphors in conceptual metaphor theory is processed (understood) without the realtime activation of the source domains in question.” People responded faster to the lexical decision questions after they were presented with a related letterstring than when they were with an unrelated one.” and an unrelated one was “lead. For example. as when the metaphorical meaning of a word goes back to a source domain (such as the time-related meaning of before and after derive from the space-related meaning of before and after). at the time of speaking or otherwise interpreting something.. Findings in a variety of tasks were consistent. In one study. such as blow one’s stack. In such cases comprehension takes place over a long stretch of time. Metaphorical understanding can also be based on long-term memory or as a result of a long-term historical-cultural process. a related letter-string was “heat. We can call this “online” understanding. Gibbs and his associates (1997) wanted to see how people immediately comprehend metaphorical idioms based on the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor. Boroditsky hypothesized that if the time is horizontal/vertical metaphor is real in people’s conceptual systems. This indicates that source domains are active at the time of processing (understanding) target-related metaphorical meanings. and not just understanding some metaphorical meaning independently of the source. where time is metaphorically viewed as horizontal only). Participants read stories ending with idioms such as this and then quickly gave lexical decision responses to letter-strings that were presented to them visually.e. However. Their claim is that we process highly conventional metaphorical expressions without (consciously or unconsciously) evoking or relying on metaphorical mappings. Now the question is whether the offline understanding of metaphors occurs with or without the activation of the source domain. In another set of experiments. We can call this “offline” understanding. The letter-strings either had to do with or were unrelated to the conceptual metaphor underlying the idioms. understanding the target meaning) always takes place with the simultaneous activation of source domains. Lera Boroditsky (2001) studied the time is horizontal/vertical metaphor by considering two kinds of primes (a prime is an early stimulus that prepares someone to respond to a later stimulus more easily than without it): a prime for horizontal orientation and a prime for vertical orientation. speakers of Mandarin should be faster than speakers of English in saying that a sentence like “March comes earlier than April” is true after getting a vertical prime. The distinction between horizontal and vertical primes is important because there are languages where time is conceived of as being oriented in both directions. vertically and horizontally (as opposed to English. and speakers of English should be faster than Chinese .

” And the same holds true for the existence of the time is vertical conceptual metaphor in the heads of Chinese speakers. In them. “understanding” does involve conceptual metaphors in both the online and offline senses.” This is different from the previous situation. The fact that the speakers of Mandarin Chinese were affected in the same way as speakers of English shows that they also made use of the time is horizontal conceptual metaphor in their online understanding of the sentence. In the same experiment. and behind). These predictions proved to be correct. in that before is a metaphorical expression (unlike earlier) that is based on the time is horizontal conceptual metaphor (together with such expressions as ahead of. .. the source domains are clearly activated in the real-time comprehension of target-related metaphorical meanings even in the case of highly conventional metaphorical expressions. Most of the metaphors we have discussed so far are based on our basic knowledge of concepts. Thus. half of the target sentences had a spatiotemporal metaphor in them. 3. The Nature of Metaphor Metaphors may be based on both knowledge and image. basic knowledge structures constituted by some basic elements are mapped from a source to a target. In another kind of conceptual metaphor that can be called image-schema metaphor. it produces faster TRUE/ FALSE responses to sentences like “March comes earlier than April. because this was the metaphor triggered by the metaphorical expression used in the sentence (before) and it was consistent with the horizontal prime.e. The sentence was “March comes before April. We began to see such conceptual metaphors in section 2. after. and when it is primed. with the conceptual metaphor time is horizontal). and obstacles in the case of journey) that get mapped from a source to a target. then people will respond faster to the TRUE/FALSE question after receiving the horizontal prime than after the vertical prime. however. but conceptual elements of image-schemas. The time is horizontal conceptual metaphor must exist in the heads of speakers of English. This is because the horizontal prime was consistent with the conceptual metaphor underlying the metaphorical expression before in the target sentence “March comes before April” (i. The result of this part of the experiment was that both the English and Mandarin speakers needed less time to respond to the questions when they were presented with a horizontal prime than with a vertical prime. it is not conceptual elements of knowledge (like traveler. All this research shows that people do make use of conceptual metaphors when they comprehend metaphorical expressions online. destination. If conceptual metaphors immediately affect online understanding.42 METAPHOR speakers after getting a horizontal prime.

we move around the world. An interesting property of image-schemas is that they can serve as the basis of other concepts. Thus. These basic image-schemas derive from our interactions with the world: we explore physical objects by contact with them. structural metaphors are rich in knowledge structure and provide a relatively rich set of mappings between source and target. Let’s take the following examples with the word out: pass out space out zone out tune out veg out conk out rub out snuff out out of order be out of something These phrases have to do with events and states such as losing consciousness. such as “in-out. such as when we walk against the wind. and absence of something. You’re driving me insane. death. we experience ourselves and other objects as containers with other objects in them or outside of them. and the image-schemas structure many of our abstract concepts metaphorically. He’s an up-front kind of guy.KINDS OF METAPHOR 43 when we looked at orientational metaphors. Interactions such as these occur repeatedly in human experience. Here are some examples: Image-Schema in-out front-back up-down contact motion force Metaphorical Extension I’m out of money. such as the one associated with out. we experience physical forces affecting us. I’m feeling low. please. By contrast. something breaking down. (“Wait”) He just went crazy. for instance. and we also try to resist these forces. the motion schema underlies the . lack of attention. Image-schemas are not limited to spatial relations. More important for the discussion of image-schema metaphors is that they map relatively little from source to target. Here we continue to examine such metaphors.” There are many other “schemas” that play a role in our metaphorical understanding of the world. Hold on. These basic physical experiences give rise to what are called imageschemas. metaphors of this kind have source domains that have skeletal image-schemas. As the name implies. All of them indicate a negative state of affairs.

The target domains of many structural metaphors can then be seen as imageschematically structured by their source (such as life is a journey). image-schemas are structures with very little detail filled in. These are one-shot image metaphors. As already discussed. We can call them image metaphors.44 METAPHOR concept of a journey. the person watering the plants is the person urinating. Life. All of these would instantiate the schema in a different way. a hike. Sentence (a) describes an act of urination. journey. and final location. For example. and the destination. What ‘you doin’? B. Notice that there is no general structural metaphor involved in this mapping. the watering can is the penis. a means of travel (e.. a travel schedule. a destination. the “motion” schema has only initial location. an argument is war. The motion schema can be realized not only as a journey but also as a walk. a point of departure. to which correspond in journeys the point of departure. Watering the plants. while (b) describes an act of copulation (or. The motion schema has the parts. In this way. and so on. movement. for some speakers. difficulties along the way. defecation or both) in English slang. Let’s look at some examples from slang: (a) A. This highly generic motion schema gets filled in with more detail in the case of the concept of a journey: we may have a traveler. . the intended goal of the action of watering is the ground where the urine is directed. These are specific-level instances of the generic motion schema. and end point. the travel. most apparently nonimage-schematic concepts (such as journey) seem to have an image-schematic basis. Other kinds of image-based conceptual metaphors are richer in imagistic detail but do not employ image schemas.g. a guide. Let us analyze sentence (a) as a demonstration of this point. the water is the urine. Both sentences use image metaphors that map a detailed set of images from the source to the target. The ones that we have discussed so far are all specific-level metaphors: life is a journey. In the sentence. 4. Levels of Generality of Metaphor Conceptual metaphors can be classified according to the level of generality at which they are found. (b) He laid pipe. a car). ideas are food. Now conceptual metaphors can be generic-level or specific-level ones. but they would have the same underlying generic-level structure of the motion schema. The mapping is of the one-shot kind generated by two images brought into correspondence by the superimposition of one image onto the other. or mountain climbing. and so on. initial point. Another property of such generic-level schemas as “motion” is that they can be filled in not just one but in many ways. a run. movement along a path. They are found in both poetry and other kinds of discourse.

Proverbs often consist of specific-level concepts. who gets old or gets sick. in the case of events. generic is specific. where concept A is understood in terms of concept B. Take the proverb “The early bird catches the worm. They are defined by only a small number of properties. Notice that the characterization of event does not mention any of these elements. the specific cases are filled in with specific detail. burning. the wind blowing. The generic is specific metaphor helps us interpret proverbs and other cliched phrases. or metaphorical linguistic expressions. Unlike the generic-level concept of event. For example. freezing. which is to say that they are characterized by extremely skeletal structures. an entity undergoes some change as a result of some force (time-age or illness). for example. There are many different kinds of events: dying.” “catch. These are all specific instances of the generic concept of event. The interpretation of the proverb is facilitated by the metaphor generic is specific. inflation. the proverb can apply to a wide range of cases that have this generic structure. the general structure of death shares the skeletal structure of generic event: in death. typically a human. as I discuss in chapter 4. and more. as a result of which he or she ceases to exist. As can be seen. It tells us to interpret the proverb at a generic level: the early bird is anyone who does something first. For example. The events are actions metaphor. However. actions. Conceptual metaphors involve two concepts and have the form A is B. Thus. you will get what you want before others get it. This example shows how the generic is specific metaphor can give us a generic-level interpretation of a specific-level proverb and then allows us to apply the generic interpretation to a specific case that has the appropriate underlying generic structure. war. In addition to these. Linguistic metaphors.” Given this generic-level interpretation. the generic meaning of the proverb is something like “If you do something first. and food are specific-level concepts. and specific are all generic-level concepts. are linguistic manifestations of conceptual metaphors. and what is known as the great chain metaphor (I discuss this last one in chapter 11). there are generic-level metaphors: events are actions. while others who come later do not. as we have seen in the case of a journey.” and “worm” are specific-level concepts.” “Bird. catching is obtaining something. Schematic structures underlying them are filled in a detailed way. getting sick. Generic-level metaphors are designed to perform special jobs—jobs that are different from those of specific-level metaphors that we have examined so far. in death there is an entity. generic. and the worm is anything obtained before others. accounts for many cases of personification. . concepts such as events. SUMMARY Metaphors can be conceptual and linguistic. an entity undergoes some change typically caused by some external force. loving. One such case is when you go and stand in line early for a ticket to a popular Broadway show and you do get a ticket. ideas.KINDS OF METAPHOR 45 argument.

Generic-level metaphors have special jobs designed for them in the working of our metaphorical conceptual system. classification according to the conventionality. and level of generality of metaphor. These fundamental but crude understandings often serve as the bases of structural metaphors. The role of images and image-schemas in metaphorical understanding is emphasized by Lakoff (1987) and Johnson (1987). Krzeszowski (1993) discusses the evaluative function of many image-schemas.” These can also participate in metaphorical understanding. Orientational metaphors have primarily an evaluative function.” Imageschemas of various sorts. as well as by Talmy (1988) and Sweetser (1990). They make large groups of metaphors coherent with each other. Four of these are especially relevant to the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor. (1997) and Boroditsky (2001) are examples of such studies. . This happens even in the case of highly conventional metaphorical expressions. and ontological. Several experiments indicate that metaphor understanding always takes place with the activation of the source domain. conceptual metaphors can be of three kinds: structural. Gibbs et al. Some conceptual metaphors are generic-level. (1993). Structural metaphors map the structure of the source domain onto the structure of the target and in this way allow speakers to understand one domain in terms of another. and ontological kinds were introduced by Lakoff and Johnson (1980). function. Conceptual metaphors can also be specific-level and generic-level. Images that are not based on recurrent experience with a generic structure but capture a specific experience are called “one-shot images. Ontological metaphors provide extremely fundamental but very crude understanding for target concepts. orientational. Conceptual metaphors of the structural. orientational. We have seen that a highly conventional conceptual metaphor may receive expression by means of a highly unconventional metaphorical linguistic expression. such as the container or force schemas. Images that have extremely general schematic structure are called “image-schemas. (2000).46 METAPHOR Metaphors can be classified in many ways. and others. Conceptual metaphors may use both propositional knowledge and images of various kinds (including not only visual images). Lakoff and Turner (1989) draw the distinction between specific-level and generic-level metaphors. Keysar et al. Authors who argue against the automatic activation of source domains include Glucksberg et al. or novel. Recent research indicates that source domains are activated in the real-time or online comprehension of target-related metaphorical meanings. Fauconnier and Turner (2008) offer a new analysis of metaphors related to time. nature. such as events are actions and generic is specific. Both linguistic and conceptual metaphors may be highly conventionalized or they may be unconventional. According to their cognitive function. FURTHER READING Lakoff and Johnson (1980) and Lakoff and Turner (1989) discuss the varying degrees of conventionality of metaphor. Most conceptual metaphors employ concepts that are at a specific level of generality. structure many abstract concepts metaphorically.

Find unconventionalized linguistic examples in poetry for one of the following conventional conceptual metaphors people are plants. or hill. Which are conventional? Which are unconventional? . 1802) 4. to be depressed. life is a play. towers. And all that mighty heart is lying still! (“Composed upon Westminster Bridge. to fall ill. Ships. a low trick. theatres. and temples lie Open unto the fields. or quotations. Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour. Listen to the song “Love Is Blindness” by U2 and identify the kinds of metaphors. rock. to drop dead 2. never felt. Are the conceptual metaphors conventional (“C”) or extensions (“E”) of conventional metaphors? (a) You cannot harness happiness. like a garment.” September 3. All too often open at the wrong page. valley. wear The beauty of the morning. (e) A man without a wife is but half a man. (Mae West) (d) Go down the ladder when you marry a wife. silent. Earth was not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty: This City now doth. Determine what is personified in it. 3. Ne’er saw I. go up when you choose a friend. (b) No herb will cure love. 5. Read the poem by William Wordsworth. Which orientational metaphor pairs do these linguistic examples refer to? (a) (b) (c) (d) an upstanding citizen. All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. or death is departure. to be low in top shape. graffitis. and to the sky. the bottom of social hierarchy high spirits. domes. a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Dear God! the very houses seem asleep.KINDS OF METAPHOR 47 EXERCISES 1. (c) My life is an open book. bare. Identify the conceptual metaphors underlying the following proverbs. a low-down thing lofty position. to rise to the top.

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This is not to claim. It is believed that it is the creative genius of the poet and the artist that creates the most authentic examples of metaphor. they have a tendency to be noteworthy by virtue of their frequently anomalous or strange character. we find that the idea is only partially true and that everyday language and the everyday conceptual system contribute a great deal to the working of the artistic genius. They obviously do. “This stuff tastes of window. they understood: it did taste of window. including poetry? Do literary metaphors constitute a distinct and independent category from ordinary metaphors? There is a widespread notion among lay people and scholars alike that the “real” source of metaphor is in literature and the arts. saying only. When we examine this notion from the point of view of cognitive linguistics. these often “jump out” from the text. 1994) from Gabriel García Márquez’s novel Love in the Time of Cholera: W Once he tasted some chamomile tea and sent it back. but when they tried the tea in an effort to understand. that poets and writers never create new. original metaphors.4 Metaphor in Literature hat is the relationship between the metaphors used in ordinary language and those used in literature. And when they produce new metaphors. Original. 49 . however. What is tea like that tastes like window? This is obviously an unconventional metaphor that was created by the author in order to offer a new and different perspective on an aspect of reality. Consider the following example (analyzed in Gibbs. creative literary metaphors such as this are typically less clear but richer in meaning than either everyday metaphors or metaphors in science.” Both she and the servants were surprised because they had never heard of anyone who had drunk boiled window.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night? Those who have gone before. we can suggest that our judgment is based on a conceptual metaphor that links life and death to a journey. travel-sore and weak? Of labour you shall find the sum. dark hours begin” evoke the conventional metaphor life is light. ordinary conceptual metaphors. my friend” evokes the a lifetime is a day metaphor. One of the startling discoveries of work on poetic language by cognitive linguists is the recognition that most poetic language is based on conventional. the journey metaphor for life and death guides us in making sense of the poem. ordinary conceptual system. creative literary metaphors of the structural kind seem to be less frequent in literature than those metaphors that are based on our everyday. This interpretation is reinforced by additional metaphors that are employed in the poem and that are conventional in our everyday conceptual system as well. to the very end. We can be fairly certain that it is concerned with issues of life and death. dark hours begin. death is dark. Shall I find comfort. The line “From morn to night. Will there be beds for me and all who seek? Yea. the line “But is there for the night a resting place?” evokes the conventional metaphors death is night and death is rest. beds for all who come. Then must I knock or call when just in sight? They will not keep you standing at that door. But what makes us so confident that the poem has this “deeper. etc. But is there for the night a resting place? A roof for when the slow. The metaphor is by now well known to us: life is a journey and death is the end of the journey. Will the day’s journey take the whole long day? From morn to night. Is this poem about a day’s hard journey to an inn at the end of a road winding uphill? It is unlikely that anyone would interpret it this way. May not the darkness hide it from my face? You cannot miss that inn.50 METAPHOR 1.” underlying interpretation? Given the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor. Although life and death are not mentioned at all in the poem. As a first example to demonstrate this point. the words “for when the slow. let us take the following poem by the nineteenth-century poet Christina Georgina Rossetti: Does the road wind up-hill all the way? Yes. Ordinary and Poetic Language But original. my friend. These conventional metaphors that are part of our everyday conceptual system guide and direct us to the idea that the poem is not simply about a journey during the day that .

Thy love is such I can no way repay. Now let us examine another poem. in that alcohol that can produce rapture is also a nutrient. give recompense. . As noted in chapter 3. since the word love does not occur in the poem at all. The heavens reward thee manifold. I shall but drink the more. Anne Bradstreet. Till seraphs swing their snowy hats And saints to windows run To see the little tippler From the manzanilla come! How do we know that this is a love poem? This is not a completely trivial question. if you can. Some everyday linguistic examples for them include “I’m sustained by love. let us take a look at the poem of a seventeenthcentury American poet. As a final illustration. titled “To My Dear and Loving Husband:” If ever two were one.” and “I’m drunk with love. We can see the poem as a poetic example of these overlapping metaphors. ye women. love is conceptualized metaphorically in many ways. If ever wife was happy in a man. Inebriate of air am I And debauchee of dew. Again. I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold Or all the riches that the East doth hold. Reeling through endless summer days From inns of molten blue. When butterflies renounce their drams. Nor ought but love from thee. My love is such that rivers cannot quench. We feel that this is a natural interpretation because the metaphors that link the concept of journey to the concepts of life and death are so natural.” There is some conceptual overlap between these two metaphors. then thee.” “I’m starved for your affection. When landlords turn the drunken bee Out of the foxglove’s door. one by Emily Dickinson: I taste a liquor never brewed From tankards scooped in pearl. I pray. part of the answer is that our interpretation of the poem is guided by certain metaphors that we are thoroughly familiar with. Not all the Frankfort berries Yield such an alcohol. If man were loved by wife. then surely we. Compare with me.METAPHOR IN LITERATURE 51 ends at night but about life and death. These conventional metaphors include love is a nutrient and love is a rapture.

we have dealt with only three examples. Many waters cannot quench love. Gibbs. Although the verb quench can be interpreted as an example of both nutrient (food/drink) and fire. accumulating evidence suggests that “creative” people make heavy use of conventional. 7) Ordinary metaphors. but there are many more similar cases. in love let’s so persevere That when we live no more. as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death. All of the conceptual metaphors mentioned above in the Bible are made use of in the poem as well: If ever two were one. puts this in the following way: My claim is that much of our conceptualization of experience is metaphorical. then. neither cannot floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love. in this particular case the latter interpretation seems to be the one intended by the poet (assuming the influence of the Bible on the author’s images). This is what the King James Version of the Bible says in the Song of Solomon (8: 6. p. everyday metaphors and that their creativity and originality actually derive from them. are not things that poets and writers leave behind when they do their “creative” work. which both motivates and constrains the way we think creatively.52 METAPHOR Then while we live. jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire.—love is a nutrient/fire In this section. love is an economic exchange (as in “I’m putting more into this than you are”). 7): Set me as a seal upon thine heart. This poem also seems to be based on familiar. it would utterly be contemned. conventional metaphors of love: love is a unity (as in “She is my better half ” and “We’re inseparable”).—love is an economic exchange My love is such that rivers cannot quench. and love is fire (as in “Betty was my old flame”)—the last one depending on our interpretation of the word quench in the poem. (1994. love is a nutrient: food or drink (as in “I’m sustained by love”). we may live ever. On the contrary. They point to the same general conclusion: that the metaphors used by poets are based on everyday conventional metaphors. between ordinary and literary metaphors? . then surely we.—love is a unity Thy love is such I can no way repay. which has the most vehement flame. But now we are faced with a new question: How does this exactly happen? What is the more precise relationship. then. The idea that metaphor constrains creativity might seem contrary to the widely held belief that metaphor somehow liberates the mind to engage in divergent thinking. following Lakoff and Turner.

questioning. And that has made all the difference. Elaboration Elaboration is different from extension. unconventional way. Extending In extending. Mark Turner. What we find in common in the two cases is that both poets take the life is a journey conventional metaphor and describe it by means of unconventionalized language that is conceptually based on an “unused” element of the source. and I— I took the one less travelled by. We saw an example of this by Robert Frost in chapter 3: Two roads diverged in a wood. it captures an already existing one in a new. and combining. and Ray Gibbs have pointed out that poets regularly employ several devices to create novel unconventional language and “images” from the conventional materials of everyday language and thought. Poetic Reworking of Ordinary Metaphors George Lakoff. The same conventional metaphor is extended in Dante’s Divine Comedy: In the middle of life’s road I found myself in a dark wood. 2.METAPHOR IN LITERATURE 53 2. but the killer goes on hurting . A good example of this is provided by Adrienne Rich’s “The Phenomenology of Anger”: Fantasies of murder: not enough: to kill is to cut off from pain. The novelty here derives from the unconventional element that life’s road may pass through a dark wood. What is novel here is the element that in the case of two roads leading to the same destination one road may be more or less traveled than the other.2. a conventional conceptual metaphor associated with certain conventionalized linguistic expressions is expressed by new linguistic means based on introducing a new conceptual element in the source domain. The example employs the conventional metaphor life is a journey and expresses it in a novel way. Instead of adding a new element to the source domain. in that it elaborates on an existing element of the source in an unusual way.1. Dante extends the metaphor by adding this unconventional aspect to it. 2. elaboration. These include extending.

the hot fluid gets elaborated as acetylene and the passive event of explosion is replaced by directing the dangerous substance of acetylene at the target of anger. we do not live again. Catullus observes that the metaphors are only partially appropriate. When we understand this poem. . When Rich modifies the hot fluid and turns it into a dangerous substance. but when our brief light goes out.” and many others.” “making one’s blood boil. poets can call into question the very appropriateness of our common everyday metaphors. this is my dream: white acetylene ripples from my body effortlessly released perfectly trained on the true enemy raking his body down to the thread of existence burning away his lie leaving him in a new world. (Catullus 5) Here Catullus points out that at death some of our most common metaphors for life and death. 2. we activate in our mind one of the most conventional metaphors for anger: anger is a hot fluid in a container. When I dream of meeting the enemy. consider the following lines: Suns can set and return again. she performs the (unconscious) act of elaborating on an everyday metaphor.” which means that metaphorical death-as-night does not turn into day again: once we die. their validity or appropriateness is called into question. while the metaphors of a lifetime is a day and death is night are preserved. A large part of the intuitive appeal of the poem derives from our (possibly unconscious) recognition of this familiar and completely mundane metaphorical view of anger.54 METAPHOR Not enough.3. but death does not become life again).” “simmer down. there’s one perpetual night to be slept through. A consequence of the metaphorical source domains (that day becomes night and night becomes day) does not apply to the target domains (life becomes death. This perfectly ordinary metaphor is seen in such everyday linguistic examples as “boiling with anger. Questioning In the poetic device of questioning. cease to be appropriate.” “blowing your stack. To see an example of this. In Rich’s poem. In other words. a lifetime is a day and death is night. a changed man. They become inappropriate because death is “one perpetual night to be slept through.

life is light. Let’s take the clause “black night doth take away [the twilight]. We find time personified in several ways: time is a thief How soon hath Time. (Sonnet 73) These lines combine at least five everyday conceptual metaphors: light is a substance. One of the abstract concepts that is frequently personified in literature is time. and replaced it with a metaphor more in accordance with the latest scientific discoveries of her day. we find the following metaphors combined.” In this single clause. and life is light. that of life is a journey through time. several everyday metaphors at the same time. Personification I briefly introduced personification in chapter 3 and showed that it occurs in everyday conventional language. Thus. that of life is a voyage in space” (1995. Let’s take the following lines from one of Shakespeare’s sonnets: In me thou seest the twilight of such day As after sunset fadeth in the west. the cognitive mechanism of questioning the validity of accepted metaphors may be part of the “creed” of an artist. The process of combining can activate. and thus be based on. Personification is a metaphorical device that is also used commonly in literature. Which by and by black night doth take away. Combining Combining is perhaps the most powerful mechanism to go beyond our everyday conceptual system (but still using the materials of everyday conventional thought). death is night night: death is night. which stated that “much of Dickinson’s poetry is structured by the extent to which she rejected the dominant metaphor of her religious environment. events are actions. black: lifetime is a day.METAPHOR IN LITERATURE 55 Another example of demonstrating the mechanism of questioning is found in Margaret Freeman’s article. This aspect of poetic language has been studied extensively from a cognitive linguistic view by George Lakoff and Mark Turner. Sonnet 7) . events are actions 3. a lifetime is a day. life is a precious possession. 2. life is light take away: life is a precious possession.4. Death’s second self that seals up all in rest. Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth years! (Milton. 643). the subtle thief of youth.

time can be conceptualized as a thief that steals that precious possession. (Marvell. that we view events as produced by an active. even in the field of morals. The result will be the personification of events. the destroyer? When will it crush the fortress on the peaceful height? (Rainer Maria Rilke. (Shakespeare. inanimate objects. (Mencken. like a thief. Specifically. One important question that arises in connection with personification is why we use the kinds of persons that we do for a target. pursuer. Given this metaphor. natural forces. time can be conceptualized as a reaper that can kill people. This knowledge about time explains many of the personifications we use for time. reaper. A Book of Prefaces) time is a pursuer But at my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near. and thus. an entity that can affect people and things. such as time. . and so on. such as death. (Byron. But why these particular agents? This is in part because we have certain metaphors for the concepts that time affects: life. especially in adverse ways. people. This entails an important consequence. 2) time is an evaluator Time! the Corrector where our judgments err. Sonnets to Orpheus.56 METAPHOR time is a reaper Love’s not Time’s fool. willful agent. given that life is a precious possession. the devourer of everything (Ovid. since actions have such an agent. Time is an external event that occurs independently from human beings. though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle’s compass come. death. More generally. we understand time nonmetaphorically as a changer. why do we use the source domains above (representing different kinds of persons) to understand time? Lakoff and Turner suggest that the answer has to do with the events are actions generic-level metaphor. etc. Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage) Time is a great legalizer. For example. we will view events in the same way. we comprehend external events as actions. can be analyzed in similar ways. Many other abstract concepts. and given that people are plants. namely. That is. “To His Coy Mistress”) Personification permits us to use knowledge about ourselves to comprehend other aspects of the world. Time. and so on. Sonnet 116) time is a devourer Time. it can be seen as an agent. Metamorphoses 15) time is a destroyer Does it really exist. such as time and death.

inanimate things are characterized in terms of human properties: “the wood is hunched.” What one sometimes finds at the surface level of a literary text are specific micrometaphors. Megametaphors. The houses are blind as moles (though moles see fine tonight in the snouting velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by the pump and the town clock. 1989) Here we have two detailed images: one for the body of a woman. . we take the image of the detailed shape of the hourglass and map it onto the detailed shape of the woman’s body. the shops in mourning. and one for an hourglass. rather than simply linguistic. p. What is especially noteworthy is that the words themselves in the metaphor do not say anything about which part of the hourglass should be mapped onto which part of the woman’s body. have been studied by Paul Werth. conventional or novel. (example taken from Lakoff and Turner. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.” “the wood is limping invisible down to the sea. This is what makes image metaphors conceptual as well. 84) In the passage. but “underlying” these metaphors is a megametaphor that makes these surface micrometaphors coherent.METAPHOR IN LITERATURE 57 4.” The process of personification is at work here. fishingboatbobbing sea. slow. 1994. The images are based on the shape of the two “objects. and the Welfare Hall in widow’s weeds. moonless night in the small town.” “the houses are blind. the cobblestreets silent and the hunched. Image Metaphors Poetry abounds in image-based conceptual metaphors that are rich in imagistic detail but do not use image-schemas. starless and bible-black. may run through entire literary texts without necessarily “surfacing. “Megametaphors” Some metaphors. .” According to the metaphor. 5. whose waist is an hourglass. or extended metaphors (not to be confused with the device of extension discussed above). Yet we know exactly which part maps onto which on the basis of the common shape. Consider the following example from poetry: My wife . black. who offers an excerpt from Dylan Thomas’s work Under Milk Wood for illustration of this idea: It is spring.” “the shops are in mourning. in which some properties of a town are understood in terms of the properties of human . (Quoted in Werth. courter’s-and-rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack.” “the middle of the town is muffled. crowblack.

metonymy.58 METAPHOR beings. The connection between sleep is physical disability and the concept of town is provided by the metonymy the town stands for its inhabitants (or more generally. and the like. Now what is interesting in connection with the critical work of this play is that the critics invariably use the same language and conceptualization of the work that the work itself uses. For example: “Only you can see. the place stands for the people in that place). here: sleep is disability. but he cannot anymore. including W. or extended metaphor. settings. According to Werth. In other words. the town is conceived as dead through a complex interaction of specific metaphors.” Don Freeman concludes that these facts demonstrate a “unity of . Macbeth says: I am in blood Stepped in so far that. Thus. In later passages of the work. The identification of sleep with death is already prefigured in the passage quoted above. should I wade no more. being muffled. dumb. dickybirdwatching pictures of the dead” (quoted in ibid. This metaphor provides a certain “undercurrent” to the micrometaphors that appear on the surface of the text. events. and an extended metaphor that runs through the text. and even mourning. Richardson’s description (“[Macbeth] rushes headlong on his bane”) and.136–138). But this would not explain why all the human properties that are mapped onto the aspects of the town are specific disabilities. p. and being unguarded as being lulled. Returning were as tedious as go o’er” (3. roundness as being hunched. We could propose a number of specific.. He found that Macbeth’s career is largely characterized by paths and containers. For instance. surface metaphors to account for the particular linguistic examples. where the author frequently mentions blackness. immobile. . He found two extended metaphors that account for most of the language. characters. and plot of this play: the path (motion) and the container (in-out) schemas. abstract movement as limping. and so on. . For example. in the blinded bedrooms . deaf. being hunched. 3). the path schema is clear in most literary critics’ work. such as blindness. Since death is viewed as sleep and sleep is understood as a disability. Donald Freeman (1995) analyzed the text of Shakespeare’s Macbeth with the machinery of cognitive linguistics. darkness. death will also be seen as a disability: the utmost human disability in which we are blind. Dylan Thomas makes this connection explicit. For instance. silence as being muffled.4. limping. the yellowing. The path of Macbeth’s career requires him to return. more recently. in Robert Watson’s formulation: “Macbeth finds himself on a linear course into winter.. there is a megametaphor. literary critics employ path and container metaphors to assess Macbeth. The megametaphor becomes especially interesting if we consider that the concept of sleep often functions as a source domain for the concept of death. A further remarkable aspect of extended metaphors has to do with literary criticism. we could say that darkness is viewed as blindness.

Turner (1987) is an early formulation of how conceptual metaphor theory helps us elucidate several issues in the study of literary texts. (2) elaboration. Steen (1994) provides a wide-ranging study of how people understand metaphors in literary texts. In this chapter. These are one-shot images that require the mapping of several elements of one image onto another. p. extending the analysis to fiction. (3) questioning. Turner (1991) describes the place and role of cognitive linguistics in the study of English in general.” Barcelona (1995) demonstrates the usefulness of the approach in an analysis of love metaphors in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I explain this with the help of the generic-level metaphor events are actions. Literary texts also abound in image-based metaphors. Jackendoff and Aaron’s (1991) review article provides a critical assessment of the Lakoff-Turner view.” They may not explicitly “surface” in the texts at all but tend to appear in the form of what we call “micrometaphors. but most of the time poets and writers use the same conceptual metaphors that ordinary people do. as well as the unity of opinion about that unity” (1995. Some metaphors extend through entire literary texts or large portions of them. and (4) combining. Goatley (1997) offers a panoramic view .METAPHOR IN LITERATURE 59 the language of and about Macbeth. Nevertheless. Personification is another common device used in literary texts.” FURTHER READING The foundational work for the analysis of the relationship between everyday and poetic metaphor is Lakoff and Turner (1989). They write in detail about the devices that poets use to turn ordinary metaphors into poetic ones. It seems that the notion of extended metaphor offers new ways of understanding not only the text of the literary work but also the language and thought of the critics. Although people are not explicitly instructed about which element of one image maps onto which element of another. SUMMARY Do literary metaphors constitute a special set among metaphors? Sometimes they do. These are called “extended metaphors” or “megametaphors. Werth (1994) analyzes megametaphors in fiction. 2000) writes about Emily Dickinson’s poetry using the machinery of cognitive linguistics. M. they can perform the mappings successfully in the process of interpreting literary texts. and she outlines a theory of “cognitive poetics. Freeman (1995) looks at them in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. we feel that literary metaphors are somehow special. Gibbs (1994) continues in the direction set by Lakoff and Turner. 707). Freeman (1995. while D. as well as about image metaphors and personification. and offering psycholinguistic evidence for the claims made by cognitive linguists. I show why the abstract concept of time is personified the way it is. This is because ordinary conceptual metaphors are regularly transformed by poets and writers in a number of ways: by (1) extending. which all arise from the source domains that the path and container schemas provide. formulating the key insights in a clear way.

In the ballad.” Edgar Allan Poe uses a ballad. (This—all this—was in the olden Time long ago) And every gentle air that dallied. which devotes a chapter to conceptual metaphor theory. What are the conventional metaphors here. EXERCISES 1. (Ben Jonson. In the monarch Thought’s dominion— It stood there! Never seraph spread a pinion Over fabric half so fair. Drink to me only with thine eyes And I will pledge with mine Or leave a kiss but in the cup And I’ll not look for wine The thirst that from the soul doth rise Doth ask a drink divine But might I of Jove’s nectar sup I would not change for thine. I. . II. “Song to Celia”) 2. Semino (1997) is another useful source for studying metaphoric language in literature. Banners yellow. On its roof did float and flow.60 METAPHOR of the study of metaphor in literature. By good angels tenanted. that are present in the poem.” to illustrate the story and characterize the Usher family. Wanderers in that happy valley Through two luminous windows saw Spirits moving musically To a lute’s well-tuned law. “The Haunted Palace. and what device is used to make them unconventional? Give the resulting unconventional metaphor. together with the mappings. Try to work out the metaphors. A winged odor went away. III. In “The Fall of the House of Usher. Along the ramparts plumed and pallid. the central image is that of a palace which corresponds to the human body. In that sweet day. Once a fair and stately palace— Snow-white palace—reared its head. Hogan (2003) is a general study of “stories” from a cognitive perspective. Freeman (2007) and Semino and Steen (2008). golden. glorious. More recent work includes Stockwell (2002). Major authoritative surveys of the application of cognitive metaphor theory (and other cognitive processes) to the study of literature are M. In the greenest of our valleys. and the accompanying edited volume by Gavins and Steen (2003).

Through which came flowing. desolate!) And. like a rapid ghastly river. U. You have already seen how conceptual metaphors work in the case of myths: Oedipus’s life was saved because he possibly made use of certain conceptual metaphors when answering the riddle of the Sphinx. Through the red-litten windows.S. A hideous throng rush out forever. flowing. the Corporate Way”. And sparking evermore.” In this story. News and World Report. The sovereign of the realm was seen. VI. Through the pale door. see Vast forms that move fantastically To a discordant melody. for never morrow Shall dawn upon him. (ah. August 28 / Sept. Which common everyday metaphor(s) do the following slogans found in advertisements call into question? Look for other advertisements (in newspapers. May Bartram and John Marcher become involved in a puzzle similar to the riddle of the sphinx in the Oedipus-myth.METAPHOR IN LITERATURE 61 Round about a throne. let us mourn. Assailed the monarch’s high estate. the glory That blushed and bloomed Is but a dim-remembered story Of the old time entombed. A troop of Echoes whose sole duty Was but to sing. But evil things. Which conceptual metaphor should Marcher have known in order to make sense of and solve the riddle that the sphinx-like female character poses to him? 4. among TV ads) which make use of the same metaphors. where sitting (Porphyrogene!) In state his glory well befitting. In voices of surpassing beauty. And travellers now within that valley. . flowing. tension arises from the fact that the main characters. And all with pearl and ruby glowing Was the fair palace door. round about his home. 4. 3. Read Henry James’s short story “The Beast in the Jungle. And laugh—but smile no more. 1995). V. While. (a) “Living without boundaries”—Ralph Lauren’s Safari (b) “Your world should know no boundaries”—Merrill Lynch (c) “It’s not trespassing when you cross your own boundaries”—Johnny Walker Scotch (d) “I don’t know where I end and you begin”—Calvin Klein’s perfume Eternity (from John Leo’s article “Decadence. IV. in robes of sorrow. The wit and wisdom of their king.

(c) What mappings can you find between the source and the target? (d) In what ways is this an example of an unconventional conceptual metaphor? . a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds. funds. and to cash in the target? (b) What are the source and target domains? Give the conceptual metaphor. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. America has given the Negro people a bad check.’s “I have a dream” speech: It is obvious today that America has defaulted on [the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence] insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation.” We refuse to believe that the Bank of Justice is bankrupt.62 METAPHOR 5. Read the following quote from Martin Luther King Jr. (a) What corresponds to the concepts of check. So we have come to cash this check—a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

This image is a realization of the conceptual metaphor falling in love is physical falling. but the reader may look for other ways in which conceptual metaphors are realized. Movies and Acting Films may be structured in their entirety in terms of conceptual metaphors. In this chapter. One metaphor that is particularly well suited for this is. furthermore. In another Walt Disney production. Several movies depict a person’s life as a journey of some kind. Many of the cases briefly described below come from George Lakoff’s (1993) work. In the Walt Disney movie Pocahontas.5 Nonlinguistic Realizations of Conceptual Metaphors A s has been emphasized so far. The list of cases I present is no doubt incomplete. that conceptual metaphors have linguistic manifestations. the life is a journey metaphor. It was shown. We have called these manifestations “metaphorical linguistic expressions. metaphors are conceptual in nature. That is. if the conceptual system that governs how we experience the world. then the (conceptual) metaphors must be realized not only in language but also in many other areas of human experience. The images through which this is conveyed include Pocahontas and Smith cascading down a waterfall. I offer some examples of cases where conceptual metaphors manifest themselves or are realized—mainly in nonlinguistic ways. These manifestations are called the realizations of conceptual metaphors. and how we act is partly metaphorical. for example. how we think. In addition. one scene shows how Pocahontas and Captain John Smith fall in love with each other. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 1. then they must manifest themselves in other than linguistic ways. individual images in a movie may be based on one or several conceptual metaphors.” But if metaphors are primarily conceptual. of course. the cruel judge of Paris 63 .

which seems to be based on the metaphor god is up. In a picture drawn by a five-year-old boy. In them. Furthermore. given the same metaphor. in the pyramids of Egypt. This is especially clear in the case of what is known in art history as the “social realist” style. and love is closeness. when they walk in such a way that suggests carrying a heavy load on one’s shoulders. respectively. An angry man may be drawn with smoke coming out of his ears. in which people are usually represented as oversized heroes. for example. In the film Phaedra. which were meant to show the significance of the ruler buried in it. love is a unity. the assumed place where God lives. But metaphorical realization does not occur only in Walt Disney productions. the intense fire corresponds to the intense sexual desire of the lovers. In sculptures as well. for example. the entire room and the palace where the scene takes place is covered in flames. Church architecture is a good example. 2. It is part and parcel of making classic movies as well. Obviously. In this scene. The structure of buildings may also make manifest certain metaphors. and Buildings Cartoons are another rich source for the nonlinguistic realization of metaphors. making real the metaphors love is a bond. suggesting their presumed importance.” For example. Another metaphor that seems to underlie many sculptures is significant is big. the house assumes many of the properties of human beings and is therefore structured conceptually in terms of this metaphor. a house is personified. A common metaphor (more precisely. the sculpture of two people in love can be such that they are bound together or are inside each other or very close to each other. This is based on the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor. In these cases. Thus. Christian churches . the same sexual desire is fire metaphor is realized when Phaedra (played by Melina Mercouri) and Alexis (played by the young Anthony Perkins) begin to make love in front of an intense fire in the fireplace. Children often draw pictures that visually embody conceptual metaphors. Christian churches are built so that they point toward the sky. Cartoons. The metaphor that is given visual expression here is sexual desire is fire. physical symptoms can be seen as “enactments” of conceptual metaphors. Sometimes people do “act out” this metaphor. conceptual metaphors are often depicted in a “literal” way. A major conceptual metaphor for difficulty is difficulties are burdens. personification) that is made use of by children is inanimate objects are people. Sculptures. In this way. conceptual metaphors are often “enacted.64 METAPHOR feels an uncontrollable sexual desire for the beautiful gypsy girl Esmeralda. A large part of learning the profession of acting involves learning how to act out certain conceptual metaphors. Drawings. The same metaphor can be found in architecture. in a cartoon an angry person may literally explode or burst open.

a common view of history is that it is a change from a period of ignorance and oppression to a period of knowledge and freedom. Finally. they kiss them. To understand a symbol means in part to be able to see the conceptual metaphors that the symbol can evoke or was created to evoke. a washing powder is a friend metaphor evokes in people the same attitudes and feelings that they have in connection with their good friends. Consider. history. and knowledge. For instance. as analyzed by Kövecses (1995d). the statue may be regarded as an embodiment of the metaphorical source domains: uninhibited movement. and so on. For example. this is based on the metaphor items to sell are people. Symbols Symbols in general and cultural symbols in particular may be based on wellentrenched metaphors in a culture. Moreover. for example. 3. we have the metaphor knowing is seeing.NONLINGUISTIC REALIZATIONS OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 65 metaphorically represent the connection between God and his believers who worship him in the church. the Statue of Liberty in New York City. and the people in the ads or commercials behave toward them as if they really were. they whisper to them. But today the statue simply evokes in most Americans the image of a benevolent and wealthy country (America) that readily helps and accepts people who are in need (the poor immigrants). What evokes this metaphor is the fact that the statue steps forward with a torch enlightening the world. An appropriately selected metaphor may work wonders in promoting the sale of an item. Given these metaphors. This is based on the metaphor that historical change is movement from a state of ignorance to a state of knowledge. This symbol is a manifestation of the metaphor life is fire that also appears in mundane linguistic expressions such as to snuff out somebody’s life. This arises from the fact that the statue steps forward as broken shackles lie at her feet. How can this interpretation . movement from dark to light. Part of the selling power of an advertisement depends on how well chosen the conceptual metaphor is that the picture and the words used in the advertisement attempt to evoke in people. free action will be uninhibited self-propelled movement. This is displayed in the statue by means of several metaphors: metaphors for free action. Advertisements A major manifestation of conceptual metaphors are advertisements. they hug them. washing powders are frequently presented as good friends. Sexuality is also often relied on in advertisements. Since action is self-propelled movement. a common symbol of life is fire. which is a kind of personification. The statue was created to evoke the idea that liberty was achieved in the United States (together with its “accompaniments”—knowledge and justice). 4. Cars are often shown as one’s lovers. and seeing.

like earthquakes. is really the god of uncontrollable external events in general. moving physical objects that exert a huge force on people include the sea. sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch. and her name Mother of Exiles. Poseidon can thus be seen as the god of uncontrollable external events in general. followed by seven lean cows that eat the . One of these is when a metaphor functions as a key element in a myth. The poem engraved on the plaque at the entrance to the statue suggests this interpretation: Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 5.66 METAPHOR be given to it? The reason in part is that Americans (but also others) have the metaphor a state or a country is a person. 1993) that Poseidon. it has been suggested by Pamela Morgan (discussed in Lakoff. the Greek god of the sea (and some other forceful things. Send these. tempest-tost to me. plus some conventional knowledge about women. The statue represents a woman. your poor. 6. and not just god of the sea (or some other specific forceful entity). Here at our sea-washed. We have seen examples of this in the myth of Oedipus. the homeless. her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. Pharaoh has a dream: he is standing on the riverbank when seven fat cows come out of the river. “Give me your tired. Large. and bulls). who readily welcomes her children to her home. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome. Another way in which metaphors participate in myths involves the “characters” of myths themselves. who is beckoning to the immigrants arriving. For example. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. With conquering limbs astride from land to land. “Keep ancient lands. Myths Conceptual metaphors may be realized in myths in a variety of ways. and who is a “mighty” but gentle woman. moving objects. whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning. This is based on the observation that there exists a very general metaphor according to which uncontrollable external events are large. your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Dream Interpretation In Genesis. horses. in which the metaphors a lifetime is a day and life is a journey serve as important elements in saving Oedipus’s life from the Sphinx.

Pharaoh calls on Joseph to interpret the two dreams. who. Joseph interprets the two as one dream. Margaret Fuller [1843]). This interpretation turned out to be the correct one. Joseph relied on the metaphor resources are food. Brigham Young. We often use these myths to make sense of historical events. Indeed. Joseph could arrive at the correct interpretation. dreams realize particular combinations of metaphors. A special case of moving objects is a river. such as the movement of the Jewish people from Egypt to the Promised Land. This explains why we have cows and ears of corn in the dream. How was Joseph able to interpret the dream? How did he know that it was about years and time? The reason is that he was aware of a metaphor that has been with us ever since biblical times: times are moving objects. Interpretation of History Metaphors also play some role in modern myths. Then Pharaoh dreams again: this time he sees seven “full and good” ears of corn growing and then seven withered ears growing after them. These were typical foods eaten at the time. leading from a freshwater lake (Utah Lake = Sea of Galilee) to a salt-water dead sea (Great Salt Lake = Dead Sea). and in the cognitive linguistic view we can refer to it as the metaphor: the settlement of north america by the english settlers is the movement of the jews from egypt to the promised land. and the seven lean cows and withered ears are famine years that follow the good years. But the actual makers or agents of history can also consciously pattern their actions on a particular source domain. By combining these conceptual metaphors. Finally. This account is couched in metaphor. We saw this metaphor in chapter 4. as well as those who later commented on this and thus tried to come up with a coherent account of it (one example being the later American commentator. What this example shows is that much of the interpretation of dreams depends on everyday conceptual metaphors. Another conceptual metaphor that’s needed for a fuller interpretation is achieving a purpose is eating. This is what happened in the Mormons’ case.NONLINGUISTIC REALIZATIONS OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 67 seven fat ones and still remain lean. again. the leader . The withered ears devour the good ears. The Mormons referred to their new home as Zion. In other words. For example. rivers are commonly employed to understand time metaphorically. They modeled their flight west to what is now the Salt Lake City area on the Jews’ flight to Israel. Szilvia Csábi (1997) argues that much of the early history of America (the settlement by the English) was conceptualized in terms of some of the key events in the Bible. and they were influenced in their choice of homeland by the fact of a river (that they called Jordan). 7. used the biblical account of the Jews’ flight from Egypt into Israel as their source domain in a conscious way. The seven fat cows and full ears are good years. This way of thinking about the settlement of America by the English Puritans was characteristic of the ordinary people who actually participated in the early settlement.

they impose a particular order or pattern on political activities. consider the work of Alexis de Tocqueville. In American politics. 8. that is. As a final illustration. They not only make sense of these activities but also structure them in imperceptible ways. and said “This is the place. American society can be seen as composed of armies that correspond to political groups. His book. However. for although they perceived themselves as being down. where the slaves were regarded as good Christians thrust into slavery (that is. hell) by the wicked slaveholders. existing on a lower level than slaveholders or white people. for example.” Conceptual metaphor analysis can also shed light on those areas of history that have been subject to much debate. which some of the African Americans perceived as originating from the fact that slaves were kept in “beastlike stupor” (Douglass [1845] 1989. society is a person. This view of democracy depends crucially on the acceptance of the conceptual metaphor a state is a person. when the caravan reached a point where he could see the valley. given the politics is war metaphor. the freedom is a deity/god conceptual metaphor offered consolation. Tocqueville’s argument is couched in terms of this metaphor throughout his work. and so on. political thought (and discourse) is largely structured by the following metaphors: politics is war. and healthy or sick. These metaphors are widely disseminated in the media and by politicians themselves. Politics and Foreign Policy Politics in general is rife with conceptual metaphors.” who can be friendly or hostile. politics is business.68 METAPHOR of the Mormons. According to Kövecses (1994). the leaders of the armies correspond to political leaders. Tocqueville analyzes American democracy metaphorically as a highly defective person. Strength corresponds here to military strength . is supposed to have sat up in his sickbed. 1909). Similarly. If a nation is conceived of as a person. p. and the presidential election is a race. strong or weak. the weapons used by the army are the ideas and policies of the political groups. originally they existed on a “higher” level of existence from which they were degraded or reduced. The narratives also made use of a simplified. Democracy in America. is still one of the most often referred to works on the subject. the objective of the war is some political goal. To take just one example. the orientational metaphors that have been uncovered also point to the possibility that the slaves did not see their status as a natural one. An analysis of slave narratives and biographies written between 1789 and 1861 by Réka Benczes revealed that the slaves were acutely aware of white dominance. Most important. the French social thinker who attempted an interpretation of American democracy in the early decades of the nineteenth century. whose defects have to be made up for and counterbalanced by external forces such as the legal system. society is a family. then it is possible to think of neighboring countries as “neighbors. dualistic worldview of good and evil. as it promised rectification in the afterlife for the sufferings the slaves had to endure in the material world.

This interpretation provided moral justification for the United States to go to war against Iraq. moral “strength” is based on the notion of physical strength: (1) being good is being upright being bad is being low doing evil is falling evil is a force morality is strength In the second metaphorical system. These metaphors can be laid out in greater detail as follows. when Iraq attacked and occupied Kuwait.S. who can either “fall” (become bad) or remain upright (remain good). in this view. This metaphor has certain implications for foreign politics. Internal evil may be. because of choosing the right metaphor. External evil may be a dangerous situation that causes fear. Kuwait as a victim. evil can act on an “upright” person. A country can be identified as strong and another as weak. Thus. any of the seven deadly sins. Iraq was seen as a villain. he managed to get his decision to go to war accepted by the American people. In either case.NONLINGUISTIC REALIZATIONS OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 69 and health to economic wealth. and the United States as a hero that rescues an innocent victim. 9. morality appears to be more of an “other-directed” issue than a “self-directed” issue: (2) the community is a family moral agents are nurturing parents people needing help are children needing nurturance moral action is nurturance In the “strength” metaphor there is only a single moral agent. a moral person would apply a counterforce in an effort to overcome the force of evil and would be successful in overcoming it. They are used together on most occasions. casting the events in terms of a “fairy-tale scenario” helped the U. At the very least. The evil can be either an external or an internal force. for example. It is not the case that the two metaphors exclude each other in the actual practice of morality in everyday life. a militarily strong nation can be seen as “raping” a weak one when it attacks the weak nation. Since strength is associated with men and weakness with women. president to get support for an important decision. Morality Discourse about morality often involves two foundational conceptual metaphors: (1) morality is strength and (2) morality is nurturance. whereas in the nurturance version there are two agents—people who need help and people who have a responsibility to provide that help. The attack was interpreted as the “rape” of Kuwait. but different people . According to the first metaphorical system of morality. The case in point is the Gulf War of 1990.

Society is conventionally viewed as a family with the state as a parent and citizens as children. In this family. Alternatively. For some people. In the United States. D. if someone considers the “nurturance” metaphor more important for morality. The metaphor-based notion of morality will have different consequences for one’s political views. In the “nurturance” metaphor. where statistics of all kinds are used to “measure” achievements. the family consists of people who have a moral obligation to help each other to begin with. 11. This is especially common in baseball. The two views of morality briefly outlined here imply different conceptions of a family. In the “moral strength” metaphor. B. achievements in sport are primarily interpreted through quantification of some kind. the letter grades A. and E or F are used. this person is likely to be attracted to conservative ideals and ideas in politics. the family consists of independent and self-reliant individuals. this person is more likely to be a liberal concerning political issues. whereas for others it is defined mostly in terms of morality is nurturance. morality is taught and learned less through discipline than through nurturance. the different priorities given to the two metaphors may account for two conceptions of politics—conservatism and liberalism. Morality and politics will fuse into “moral politics. One of these is the seeing is touching metaphor. The metaphor that seems to underlie the social institution of “grading” is quality is quantity. If one considers the morality is strength metaphor as more important. the quantification of qualitative things has reached huge proportions. matters of quality— such as knowledge. How is this possible? The link between one’s moral and political views is provided by a metaphor of nation we have already mentioned above: a nation or society is a family. According to this metaphor. Social Practices Some metaphors can create certain social practices. morality is primarily defined in terms of the morality is strength metaphor. skills. Now the priorities given to the two metaphors will have implications for one’s political views because the two conceptions of family and morality will influence one’s view of the nation as a family. Consider the use of “grades” in school. This common practice exists in many countries throughout the world. Social Institutions Certain social institutions may also be based on conceptual metaphors. Interestingly.70 METAPHOR may give different priorities to them. and sensitivity—are comprehended through units of quantity such as numbers. C. but these are merely disguised forms of numbers.” 10. This is the metaphor at work when we say . In some cultures. in the United States. and morality is taught and learned primarily through discipline (to resist evil). understanding. For example. either going from 1 to a higher number such as 5 or from 5 to 1.

Both of these cases make a conceptual metaphor “real” in everyday social practice. One of the subgenres of literature is biography. In this sense. it is the plot itself that manifests a certain conceptual metaphor. Another subgenre within fiction seems to be structured by what we called the life is a journey metaphor. fairytales and folktales frequently use this metaphor to present the lives of the characters participating in them. Thus. 12. All the examples we discussed in chapter 4 were linguistically realized metaphors. When the telling of one’s life is presented as if it were a story. What makes this a nonlinguistic metaphor is that it is the entire plot that is cast as if it were a story. as this becomes especially clear when a novel or short story is turned into a film. Literature Literature is perhaps the most obvious area in which conceptual metaphors can be found.” The same metaphor generates the social practices of “avoiding eye contact” with someone we do not know and “undressing someone with one’s eyes. literature commonly makes use of unconventional(ized) metaphorical expressions that are based on conventional conceptual metaphors. In short. Indeed. this is exactly what . (The survey discussed in this section is based on Charles Forceville and Alan Cienki’s assessment of the field. In all these cases. However. One example of this is The Pilgrim’s Progress. Gestures and Multimodal Metaphors The idea that a large part of human thinking is rooted in metaphor has over the past fifteen years resulted in a rapidly growing literature on nonverbal and multimodal manifestations of metaphor. The most interesting cases of the nonlinguistic realization of conceptual metaphors in literature are those where an entire literary genre is based on a given metaphor.” The prohibition against this is also based on seeing is touching. if metaphor is primarily a matter of thought and action. September 2008. personal communication.) The basic idea in this young field within metaphor studies is that neither a metaphor’s target nor its source have to be necessarily rendered verbally.NONLINGUISTIC REALIZATIONS OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 71 things like “He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. the creativity of literature is constrained by our everyday metaphorical conceptual system. In biography it is common to conceptualize one’s life in terms of a story. 13. When this is the case. the most common way of giving the history of one’s life is in terms of the life is a story metaphor. it is the actions and events of one’s life that are structured by a conceptual metaphor. it gains its structure from the metaphor life is a story. the story of one’s life is based on the historical account of a journey. Furthermore. literature also contains metaphors that are realized nonlinguistically. As noted in chapter 4. Forceville and Cienki. The two metaphors can also combine to yield a mixture of the two subgenres.

The first comes from gesture studies. many metaphoric gestures involve the representation of ideas mentioned verbally as if they were objects. But in many multimodal metaphors. Two major lines in conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) research pertaining to multimodal metaphor can be distinguished. sound. and perhaps even smell. modalities) besides speaking or writing that a metaphor can be manifested in are pictures. as Cornelia Müller’s work indicates (Müller. may be expressed in more than one mode simultaneously. gesture can reveal aspects of meaning that are not. Other genres that have attracted the attention of pictorial and multimodal metaphor scholars are political cartoons (El Refaie. Rothenberg 2008). Cienki (1998) observes that a speaker of English may talk about a sequence of events in time and gesture manually with a movement from left to right. the fact that gesture often precedes the onset of speech in a way that the speaker is not aware of. Phillips. the target by a photograph and the source by a verbal caption or the target in spoken words and the source by a gesture). and gesture. as McNeill (1992) and others point out. or even cannot. redundant with the accompanying words. 2003). Gestures that reflect the transfer of concepts from one domain to another were “rediscovered” by David McNeill in the early 1990s. or both. moreover. in the latter. in press). In addition. Indeed.72 METAPHOR one would expect. 1996. emphasizes the dynamic nature of metaphor. Gesture can thus provide evidence of imagistic manners of metaphoric thinking—in this case perhaps based on the convention of the time line—which we would not find from verbal data alone. touch. When accounting for metaphors in moving images. this is an aspect of metaphor that tends to be underestimated due to the staticness of the paradigmatic A IS B formula. In the former. Several researchers consider gesture to be an aspect of the act of utterance (not as something distinct from verbal communication). be present in the words alone. music. 2005). may be seen as lending support to the CMT view that metaphoric thinking is largely automatic and below the level of conscious awareness. they are conveyed entirely or predominantly in different modes (for instance. 2003) and art (Forceville 1988. The second line of research in multimodal metaphor concentrates on its occurrence in moving and static images. and taste. Indeed. allowing for a distinction between monomodal and multimodal metaphors. past and future are not talked about in English with spatial metaphors of left and right (see chapter 3). adaptations of . language or pictures). as shown by Eve Sweetser (1998). both target and source are conveyed in the same mode (for instance. A recent look at metaphor and gestures. or even usually. target or source. and even as an integral part of language itself (McNeill 1992. But the fact that the target may often be named verbally and the source depicted gesturally (as with the example of abstract idea as concrete object) does not mean that gesture is always. and yet while the gesture correlates with the notion that past is left and future is right. Forceville developed a model for the analysis of pictorial (also called visual) metaphors in print and billboard advertising (Forceville 1994. Other modes (or.

we can conclude that conceptual metaphor pervades much of our social. cultural symbols. that is. and musical modes for the presentation of target and source themselves. Gibbs and Steen.NONLINGUISTIC REALIZATIONS OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 73 Forceville’s model entailed a shift of focus from pictorial to multimodal metaphors. 2005. 1999. At the same time. Amy Wiggin and Christine Miller (2003). This insight makes the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor especially valuable to nonlinguists as well. intellectual. . dream interpretation. cartoons. the nonlinguistic structure of certain literary genres. artistic. 2006. drawings. whereas the source-path-goal schema underlying metaphors such as life is a journey and a story is a journey (Johnson. There is a growing body of research into metaphorical aspects of gestures. in press. myths. Forceville. These nonlinguistic ways include movies and acting. Kövecses’s (1986. multimodal discourses can exemplify structural metaphors. Lakoff. Teng. with ad hoc connections between target and source. Multimodal metaphor scholars are now beginning to explore other tropes (Forceville. Shinohara and Matsunaka. 2006b. and many others that have not been discussed here. 2000a) work has inspired research on the pictorial representation of emotions in comics (Eerden. 2007) and of the role of space in films more generally (Fahlenbrach. see also Kennedy. 2002. In light of these cases. in press. morality. 1982). politics and foreign policy. as well as for the cueing of source-to-target mappings. While until recently theorizing in this young subdiscipline of metaphor studies had been mainly concerned with what Max Black (1979) called creative metaphor. psychological. since post-silent film can draw at the least on the pictorial. in press). they can also be realized in many other ways. 2006. One such case is where metaphors are realized in gestures. sonic. Forceville (2008 b) provides a comprehensive summary of work on multimodal metaphor. social practices. currently attempts are made to examine if. verbal. 1993) invites systematic examination of various types of “road movies” (Forceville. Maalej. and if so how. buildings. 2008 a. advertisements. 1993. Kövecses. 2007). Metaphor is present not only in the way we speak but also in much of our nonlinguistic reality. 2007b). and the experimental testing of multimodal metaphors has also started. and NingYu (in press). Forceville and Jeulink. 2005b. the interpretation of history. 2001) will undoubtedly strongly influence work on multimodal metaphor as well (see various contributions in Forceville and Urios-Aparisi. and cultural lives. Teng and Sun. Multimodal metaphors in commercials are discussed by Forceville (2007a.” social institutions. and in videoclips by Kathrin Fahlenbrach (2005). The awareness that accultured elements complement embodied ones in verbal metaphors (Forceville et al. sensitivity to metaphor in language may help us discover conceptual metaphors in many nonlinguistic areas of human experience. “moral politics. sculptures. SUMMARY In addition to conceptual metaphors being expressed linguistically. in press).

Lakoff (1992) presents a metaphor analysis of the Gulf War. Forceville [1999. 2008b). 2005a]). In this chapter you have encountered a symbol of the United States. Van Mulken et al. and Kennedy (1993). Lakoff analyzes political thought by making use of metaphorical frames in a number of recent publications (Lakoff. (ii) Who is taller. Whittock (1990) deserves credit for a first systematic attempt to describe and categorize different types of cinematographic metaphor (see also Carroll [1994. Lakoff (1996) shows how the notions and practice of morality and politics are intertwined and how both are structured by metaphor. For overviews of the state of the art on metaphor and gesture and the multimodality of spoken communication. Schön (1979) is an early analysis that shows how metaphors can be real. Kövecses (1995d) employs the machinery of cognitive linguistics to “decode” the Statue of Liberty. Adamson et al. 2004. the Statue of Liberty. (2008). Csábi (1997) analyzes the metaphors that structure the early American Puritan experience. Their work shows that the study of “pictorial metaphors” is complex. together with a brief discussion. raises several important theoretical questions. and thus deserves more attention by cognitive linguists. What other symbols of the United States and other countries can you think of in which a conceptual metaphor is realized? 2. 2006. . Benczes (2008) is a study of North American slave narratives. John is very tall. Wilcox (2000) describes conceptual metaphors in American Sign Language. see Cienki and Müller (2008) and Müller and Cienki (in press). John ran. The experimental testing of pictorial and multimodal metaphors of various types was done by Shen and Gadir (in press). Harry or John? Harry is very very very tall. McNeill (1992) and Cienki (1998) have studied metaphorical gestures. Forceville (1996) and Ungerer (2000) study how metaphors are made use of in advertisements. EXERCISES 1. American foreign policy is described in terms of metaphors by Chilton and Lakoff (1995). in which several conceptual metaphors are realized. A highly relevant work in the same spirit is Shore (1996). 1996]. P. (1996) examine the metaphors underlying much of American politics. Kövecses (1994) looks at the ways Tocqueville’s understanding of American democracy is influenced by certain conceptual metaphors. Compare the following sentences: (i) Who seems to have run more? Harry ran and ran and ran.74 METAPHOR FURTHER READING A listing. in which he shows some of the major organizing metaphors of American culture. of the realization of conceptual metaphors in nonlinguistic areas is given in Lakoff (1993) and Gibbs (1994). Morgan’s work is discussed in Lakoff (1993).

An advertisement features a woman and a man who are about to kiss. (v) Here was another Asiatic reservoir of over 300 million souls threatening to deluge the coast. .and twentiethcentury immigrants came to be described in different terms as the following statements demonstrate: (i) America has “lost control” of its borders but remains deeply divided over how to curb the inexorable flood of illegal immigration. (iv) But America is poorly equipped with the rising tide of people seeking to come to the United States. (a) How is the immigration process viewed in these sentences.” (Dyer. The woman touches the man’s shoulder. while a golden bracelet is revealed on her wrist. for instance. As we saw in this chapter (in the section “Interpretation of History”). Analyze a television advertisement (you may do a search on YouTube) and provide examples of conceptual metaphors that underlie the visual representation. (a) How do repetition and lengthening of words alter meaning? (b) Can you find a conceptual metaphor for sentences like the above? 3. 118) (a) What conceptual metaphor is the slogan based on? (b) How do the images and the position of the slogan reinforce the conceptual metaphor(s)? 5.e. The slogan placed between them proclaims: “The strongest links are forged in gold. (ii) The United States is receiving the largest wave of immigration in its history. what is the conceptual metaphor? (b) Is this a positive or a negative view? Why? 4. there are several metaphors to describe a nation or the settlement of a country.NONLINGUISTIC REALIZATIONS OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 75 (iii) Who is bigger? Harry is bi-i-i-i-ig! John is big. 1982.. nineteenth. i. the early settlement of America is often seen as the movement of the Jews from Egypt to Israel. (iii) This influx strains our facilities for assimilation. p. However.

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the theory can be claimed to be unscientific. but why one linguistic expression rather than another is chosen to speak metaphorically about something. The issue of whether there are constraints on the production of metaphors is closely related to another one: the issue of the predictability of metaphors. the constraint that limits the excessive production of metaphor is that there must be a similarity between the two entities compared. which metaphors we have should be predictable. generative grammar) that (try to) model themselves on the “exact” sciences such as physics. In the description of metaphor in particular and of language in general. In this view. that in the cognitive linguistic view metaphors are sets of mappings between a more concrete or physical source domain and a more abstract target domain. and if our theory can’t predict them. we cannot metaphorically use one to talk about the other. As we will see at the end of the chapter 77 .g. furthermore. and hence. except that here the question is not why one concept rather than another is selected as a metaphorical source domain. it breaks away from the notion of predictability and replaces this notion with motivation. Thus. between the meanings of the two expressions. Can we predict what the metaphors are in a particular language and across languages? The notion of “predictability” characterizes formal theories of language (e. can we make use of any concrete concept in the process of understanding any abstract one? The same issue arises in the most widely shared traditional view of metaphor. We noted. In other words. This situation raises the issue whether any concrete concept can serve as a source domain for any target concept. The answer in this view is that there is a similarity between the two entities denoted by the two linguistic expressions. Cognitive linguistics does not accept this view of what a theory should be capable of doing. If the two entities are not similar in some respect..6 The Basis of Metaphor O ur conceptual system contains thousands of concrete and thousands of abstract concepts.

the rose is a good choice for a metaphor in a way in which many other things would not be. the issue of which metaphors we have is not a matter of prediction but that of motivation. can be used to describe the world. for example. (4) It is this preexisting kind of similarity between two things that constrains the possible metaphors speakers can employ for skins of some color. A fairly typical example of this would be the expression “the roses on her cheeks. The similarity between some roses and some kinds of skin exists in reality before anyone uses roses to talk about somebody’s cheeks.78 METAPHOR and especially in chapter 13. Whatever the intended effect or purpose is. This similarity makes it possible for speakers to use the word rose instead of. We use the word roses to talk about somebody’s cheeks because we wish to create some special effect in the listener or reader (such as creating a pleasing image).” The sky as we normally think of it (we take it to be blue) simply bears no resemblance to healthy pinkish skin on the cheeks. (2) Metaphor is a linguistic. It is in this sense that in the traditional view certain preexisting similarities can determine or limit which linguistic expressions. in the traditional view similarity is the basis of metaphor. phenomenon. I will offer an outline of this theory. There is no doubt that this account of what linguistic expression can be used metaphorically in place of others applies to many cases. and it also constrains the selection of particular linguistic expressions to talk about something else. (3) The basis for using the word roses to talk about somebody’s cheeks is the similarity between the color of some roses (pink or red) and that of the color of a person’s cheeks (also pink or some light red). We do not use the word roses as part of the process of conceptualizing and understanding one thing in terms of another. rather than one conceptual domain to comprehend another. thus. and not a conceptual. we could not talk metaphorically appropriately about the pinkish color on a person’s cheeks by using the word sky. The Similarity Constraint in the Traditional View As discussed. the phrase the pink skin on her cheeks for some special effect. say. rather than others. Preexisting similarity explains the selection of many metaphorical expressions in both conventional . Given the color of this kind of skin on the cheeks. metaphors cannot be predicted. as in “the sky on her cheeks. 1. Perhaps the most exciting new development in conceptual metaphor theory is what is called the neural theory of metaphor. in metaphor we simply use one word or expression instead of another word or expression. but they can be motivated.” The example displays some typical features of the most widely held traditional view of metaphor: (1) Metaphor is decorative or fancy speech. In the last section of the present chapter.

Nevertheless. biological. Quite simply. what possible preexisting similarity exists between the concept of a journey and that of love? For this reason. This is the task to which we now turn. they will be events that are correlated in experience. What could possibly be the preexisting similarity between. either perceptual. to put the same question differently. We have seen many examples so far where it would be impossible to account for the use of a metaphorical expression with the notion of preexisting similarity. then. Let us now see the major ways in which conceptual metaphors are grounded in experience. All of these may provide sufficient motivation for the selection of source b1 over b2 or b3 for the comprehension of target a. biological and cultural roots shared by the two concepts. For example. Similarly. say. then what can? Or. but it is still a limited number. and “This relationship is not going anywhere. or cultural. what limits the selection of particular source domains for particular targets? For example. If event E1 is accompanied by event E2 (either all the time or just habitually). the question is why we have the sources that we do. Correlations in Experience Some metaphors are grounded in correlations in our experience. b2 or b3.” or between “We’re not going anywhere. there is a large number of source domains for the target concept of love (roughly between twenty and thirty). The Grounding of Metaphors in the Cognitive Linguistic View Can anything be a source domain for a particular target? If similarity cannot be taken to be a completely general account of the basis of metaphor. there are additional cases where the account fails. 2.” taken literally. It is important to see that correlations are not similarities. Not anything can function as a source concept for love. and possibly others. rather than. preexisting similarity—conceptual metaphors are based on a variety of human experience.THE BASIS OF METAPHOR 79 and unconventional language use. say. it makes sense to speakers of a language to use b1. They consequently feel that the conceptual metaphors that they use are somehow natural.” taken metaphorically. the cognitive linguistic view finds it important to provide an account of the selection of metaphorical source concepts (and their corresponding metaphorical linguistic expressions) that can also explain those cases where no obvious preexisting similarity between two entities can be found. various kinds of nonobjective similarity. including correlations in experience. Given such motivation. The cognitive linguistic view maintains that—in addition to objective. 2.1. to comprehend a. This kind of groundedness for conceptual metaphors is often referred to as the experiential basis or motivation of a metaphor. “digesting food” and “digesting ideas. E1 and E2 will not be similar events. .

There are hundreds of recurrent correlated experiences that motivate for us the conceptualization of more and less as up and down. we will not say that the two events (adding more to a fluid and the level rising) are similar to each other. mean that all episodes in our life are purposeful). if we want to drink beer. When issues of quantity arise. Consider. This recurrent experience (of achieving goals by going to destinations) provides a strong experiential basis for the purposes are destinations metaphor. We typically have certain goals in life (but this does not. This metaphor operates with two concepts: quantity and verticality. But why is more paired with up and less with down? This is because the more specific correlation is that when the quantity or amount of a substance increases (more). Not all conceptual metaphors are grounded in correlated experience in such a direct way as more is up or purposes are destinations. for example.” or “the end being in sight.80 METAPHOR if the event of adding more fluid to a container is accompanied by the event of the level of the fluid rising. Quantity consists of a scale that has more and less. We will see this metaphor as grounded in our recurrent everyday experiences. the experiential basis of a metaphor is less direct. while verticality consists of one that has up and down. we either have to go to the store to buy beer or to a bar to have one there. achieving a goal often requires going to a destination. we often have to go to a particular place to do that thing. In this sense. In some cases. That is. the level of the substance rises (up) and when the quantity of the substance decreases (less). the level of the substance goes down (down).” Next.” unemployment figures being “high.” and turning the volume of the radio “down. In other words. This is exactly the kind of correlation that accounts for the conceptual metaphor more is up. as it appears in such expressions as “reaching one’s goals. Rather. It would be unreasonable to claim that there is any clear correlation in experience between life and journeys. while less as down? The answer to the former is that there is in our everyday experience a correlation between quantity or amount and verticality. Simply. a life with a goal or a purposeful life is a special case of having purposes in . It will make sense for us to talk about the prices “going up. the concept of purpose or goal is correlated in our experience with the concept of going to a destination. we will take the linguistic expressions that manifest this conceptual metaphor as well motivated.” “working toward a solution. For the same reason. the life is a journey metaphor. we understand changes in quantity in terms of changes in verticality. we will say that the occurrence of one event is correlated with the occurrence of another. consider the metaphor purposes are destinations. But then how is this metaphor grounded? We can suggest that life is a journey is a special case of the more general metaphor purposes are destinations. If we want to do something. We can ask two questions: Why is quantity understood in terms of verticality? And why is more understood as up. issues of verticality commonly arise. For example. of course.” This metaphor is also grounded in correlations in human experience.

” “breathe fire.” and so on. The result is that speakers of English find both the expressions and the conceptual metaphor fear is cold natural and experientially motivated. metaphorical expressions that are instances of the anger is heat metaphor can describe both.” “be burned up.” Here again. Such metaphors play an important role in a new development in conceptual metaphor theory: the neural theory of metaphor. The anger is heat metaphor is grounded in the experience that the angry person feels “hot.” This is indicated by such expressions as “hothead. and the emotion is temperature conceptual metaphors are what are called “primary metaphors” in chapter 7. we do not need independent experiential basis for each specific-level metaphor that belongs to the generic-level one (as in the case of a (purposeful) life is a journey). Since the heat may be either the heat of a hot fluid or that of fire. correlated with the experience of body heat.” “He had cold feet to go inside. for example.THE BASIS OF METAPHOR 81 general. It then follows that the experiential basis that applies to the general case will also apply to the specific one. we can take the specific life is a journey metaphor to be a special case of the more general purposes are destinations metaphor. and thus includes more than. Thus. The experience of anger is. This provides.” “in the heat of the argument. Similarly. if a generic-level metaphor is grounded in correlated experience (as in the case of purposes are destinations).” and others. a journey. Thus. It is these correlations in experience that form the experiential basis of some conceptual metaphors. two events are correlated and occur regularly and repeatedly in human experience. The more is up. Perceived Structural Similarity In the cases discussed in section 2. the experiential basis for the widespread conceptualization of fear in English as being cold. just journeys.” “be stewing.” and “Shivers ran down her spine.” “make one’s blood boil. some metaphors are grounded in experience in less direct ways. This correlation of our emotional experience with our bodily experience serves as the basis of the metaphor anger is heat in both of its versions: anger is a hot fluid and anger is fire.” “be seething. . for us. Given these observations. One of these is the metaphor anger is heat. This can be seen in expressions such as “The thought chilled him. emotional experience is felt to be associated with assumed or real changes in body temperature. 2. In sum.” “be hot and bothered. Some other metaphors have their experiential bases in the functioning of the human body. which is an attempt to reach a predetermined destination. Other emotional experiences may be associated with coldness rather than heat. purposes are destinations. The heat metaphor for anger gains expression in language in many ways.1. I discuss this in the last section of this chapter. is a special case of reaching destinations in general.2. The class of events that we call “reaching destinations” is much broader than.” “inflammatory remarks. in English we have such words and phrases for anger as “boil with anger.

preexisting similarity. It implies that some metaphors are not based on similarity but generate similarities. The similarities arise as a result of metaphorically conceiving of life as a gambling game. and being angry and an increase in body heat are correlated events in our experiences. Thus. Those are high stakes. Perceiving life in terms of a gambling game is the process of understanding life is a gambling game. Whatever similarities arise from this perception will be called perceived structural similarities. more of quantity and the level of a substance rising. there is a similarity of another kind that applies to some other conceptual metaphors and can thus form their experiential bases. He won big. Actions in life and their consequences are not inherently gamblelike.82 METAPHOR However. However. we have cases where there is a perceived structural similarity in the conceptual metaphor. In life. . When we see a similarity between the structure of one domain and that of another. The odds are against me. One example of this case is the conceptual metaphor life is a gambling game. People perceive certain similarities between life and gambling games. such correlations in experience should not be regarded as preexisting similarities between the two events. in which a gamble (corresponding to an action in life) results in winning or losing (corresponding to the consequence of the action). as exemplified by the following expressions: life is a gambling game I’ll take my chances. achieving life goals and reaching destinations. but we can conceive of the relationship between the action and its consequences in terms of a gambling situation. Where is he when the chips are down? He’s bluffing. It’s a toss-up. but this does not make them similar—at least not in the sense of objective. as the preceding analysis shows. We view our actions in life as gambles and the consequences of those actions as either winning or losing. We see a similarity between the relationship of gambles and winning or losing and life’s actions and their consequences. but these are not objective and preexisting similarities between them. an action simply has some consequences. These are cases that can be said to be based on some nonobjective similarity as perceived by speakers of English. These expressions depict human life as a gambling game. Similarities of this kind provide an important source of motivation for some conceptual metaphors. The suggestion that some metaphors are characterized by perceived similarities has an interesting implication. If you play your cards right. you can do it.

” or status. What helps or enables us to perceive structural similarities between the abstract concept of idea and that of food? First. If two concepts (one abstract. in that they give object. the perception of structural similarity may be induced by what was called “ontological metaphors. As an example. to entities and events that are not physical objects. let us see some of the perceived structural similarities between the two concepts. the other concrete) share this basic shape or status.” It was observed that ontological metaphors are extremely basic ones.THE BASIS OF METAPHOR 83 2. we get nourishment from eating food and we are nourished by ideas. we digest food and we can or cannot digest an idea. or container “shape. Perceived Structural Similarity Induced by Basic Metaphors In some other cases. or containers. substances. These similarities can be laid out as perceived structural similarities between the concepts of food and ideas: Food (a) we cook it (b) we swallow it or refuse to eat it (c) we chew it (d) the body digests it (e) digested food provides nourishment Ideas (a) we think about them (b) we accept them or reject them (c) we consider them (d) the mind understands them (e) understanding provides mental well-being We can also represent these perceived structural similarities in the form of mappings: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) cooking swallowing chewing digesting nourishment ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ thinking accepting considering understanding mental well-being These mappings can also be laid out as conceptual metaphors that provide the submappings of the ideas are food metaphor: .3. consider now the conceptual metaphor that was introduced in chapter 1: ideas are food. we swallow food and we can swallow a claim or insult. we chew food and we can chew over some suggestion. substance. We cook food and we can stew over ideas. this can induce the perception of certain structural similarities between the two.

Ideas are entities. experiential basis is provided by a situation in which the source was the origin.” accepting is swallowing: “I can’t swallow that claim. This is how ontological metaphors may facilitate the perception of structural similarities between otherwise conceptually distant domains.” mental well-being is physical nourishment: “He thrives on stuff like this.” considering is chewing: “Let me chew over the proposal. This view can be given as a set of interrelated ontological metaphors that characterize our conceptions of the mind and human communication: the mind is a container ideas are objects communication is sending ideas from one mind-container to another This set of metaphors is known as the “conduit” metaphor.” understanding is digesting: “I can’t digest all these ideas. We receive food from outside the body and it goes into the body.” of the target. or the “root. Source as the Root of the Target In some other cases of conceptual metaphor.4. This kind of experiential basis comes in two versions: biological and cultural roots. Food consists of objects or substances. We receive ideas from outside of the mind and ideas go into the mind.” But what facilitates the perception of these similarities for us? The perceived structural similarities are in all probability induced by some basic ideas we have about the mind: The mind is a container.84 METAPHOR (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) thinking is cooking: “Let me stew over this. as shown by sentences such as “His message came across. 2. it makes sense for us that we talk and think about ideas and the mind in ways that reflect our structured knowledge about food and the body. Given these nonmetaphorical assumptions about the body and the ontological metaphors that map this understanding onto the mind.”) These ontological metaphors for the mind arise from certain nonmetaphorical assumptions we make about the human body: The body is a container. (It is called the “conduit” metaphor because ideas are assumed to travel along a conduit. .

natural) source domain for the target concept of argument? The reason probably is that the verbal institution of arguments has evolved historically from the physical domain of fighting. we have seen several types of basis for metaphor: literal.THE BASIS OF METAPHOR 85 The source may be a biological root of the target and thus lead to the formation of a conceptual metaphor. war or fighting) became a natural source domain for the target that has evolved from that origin (i. unity. love is a unity (She is my better half ). What justifies the setting up of a separate category of metaphorical motivation in these cases is that the emergence of the metaphors is clearly based either on human biological evolution or on cultural history. The root for the target may also be a cultural root. The same root seems to apply to the metaphor sport is war.. American football. and distinguishes among three types of motivation for metaphor.. And all the men and women merely players.” and many others. and here again.. (As You Like It 2. all these metaphors may be based on either correlations in experience (e. and birth. the target domain took its historical origin as its source domain. Many prototypical sports—such as soccer. wrestling. and boxing—evolved from war and fighting. Life has thus acquired the concept of a theater play as its source domain.” “to go to a training camp. the historical origin of the concept of argument (i. the argument is war metaphor. and closeness. As a matter of fact. love is closeness) or perceived structural similarity (e. correlations in experience. perceived structural similarity (in two versions). the metaphor life is a play. sport is war).. from a contemporary perspective. as in “My team did not use the right strategy. And one man in his time plays many parts. They have their exits and their entrances. a frequently used source domain for life is the concept of play. or motivation. unity.e. In addition to journeys and gambling games.7) The institution of the theater obviously evolved from everyday life. hence. . Joe Grady (1999) suggests a useful typology of metaphorical basis. which give rise to the source domains of bond.” “the two battling teams. affection is closeness (He’s close to his grandmother). It is likely that these target domains have “selected” their source domains because the sources represent properties of such biologically determined states and events as the early mother-child relationship. Consider some metaphors for love and affection: love is a bond (There’s a strong bond between them).e. argument). as in Shakespeare’s famous lines All the world’s a stage. sexuality. The notion of love seems to be based on such image-schematic properties as link.g. preexisting similarity. rugby. Why is the notion of war such a good (i..e.g. for example. and closeness. Take. Thus. In sum. and source as the root or origin of the target (in two versions).

there are thus correlation metaphors. such as purposes are destinations (plus source as the origin of the target: biological root) (2) resemblance metaphors = perceived similarity (e. perceiving a similarity. the ones that emerge from human experience—either cognitive. biological.g. and generic-is-specific metaphors. physiological. I return to this issue in chapters 13 and 14. a given language may not have a particular metaphor. such as seeing correlation in experience. That is. and so on.” including a neural theory of metaphor. Motivation versus Prediction In this chapter. such as life is a gambling game (plus source as the origin of the target: cultural root) It is possible that other kinds of motivation for conceptual metaphors exist. What can be predicted. Although it will take a long time for cognitive linguists to work out a comprehensive and more or less “final” list of the kinds of metaphorical basis. namely. The extraordinary value of this theory derives from the suggestion that metaphor can also be found in the brain. resemblance metaphors. These cases point to an important conclusion in the study of conceptual metaphors. George Lakoff and Jerry Feldman proposed what they call “the neural theory of language. or whatever.86 METAPHOR In his system. is that no language will have source domains that contradict certain universal sensorimotor experiences in which targets are embedded. these motivations will surely be among them. though all human beings may have certain physiological experiences..5. This conclusion is even more remarkable from the point of view of cross-linguistic comparison. Achilles is a lion) (3) generic-is-specific metaphors = perceived structural similarity. the theory continues the . 3. we “choose” the ones that “make intuitive sense”—that is. 2. however. Thus. experiential bases motivate the metaphors in particular languages. cultural. The Neural Theory of Metaphor A major breakthrough in the study of conceptual metaphor occurred in the past decade. the source being the root of the target. I discuss a large number of conceptual metaphors whose metaphorical motivation or basis comes from a variety of factors. such as body heat associated with anger. These cases correspond to the ones that have been identified in this chapter in the following way: (1) correlation metaphors = correlations in experience. that we have the particular sourceto-target mappings we do because we have “good” and human reasons to select certain sources for the conceptualization of certain targets over some other sources. but they do not predict them. Out of a large number of potential sources.

Neural bindings occur when two or more conceptual entities are taken to be a single entity. fire at the same time and activation spreads outward along the network links connecting them.” In this type of circuit. that is. primary metaphors have special significance. Moreover. Moreover.” Each neuron can function in different neuronal groups. as regards the meaning of physical concepts. a link is formed and this can get stronger the more A and B fire together. and sometimes simply paraphrasing. they are also active when we imagine that we perform or perceive the same action. A can activate B. Here I can only give the barest outline of the theory based on. But A can also inhibit the firing of the neurons in B. Lakoff’s (2008a) description of it in The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. And yet when we think of a blue square. (Primary metaphors are mentioned at the beginning of this chapter. there will be two groups of nodes corresponding to source and target. For example. For example. Thought occurs when two groups of neurons. This spreading activation is strengthened during learning. One neuronal group can activate another neuronal group. the two groups can be connected in such a way that they mutually inhibit the activation of the other. The circuit that characterizes metaphors is called a “mapping circuit. and a number of linking nodes that connect elements in node one to elements in node two. various types of neural circuits emerge. we think of it as one entity—a blue square. On this view.” which characterizes metonymy. that neural mapping circuits that link the two domains (nodes one and two) will constitute a metaphor. What this means is that we activate those neurons that are needed to perform or imagine an action. there are different types of neural circuits. In this way. The same mirror neurons fire when we perform an action and when we see someone else performing that action. One type of neural circuit is what is called a “linking circuit. it can cause the neurons in the other group to fire. meaning is mental simulation. neuronal groups are modeled as “nodes. “Two-way linking circuits” characterize words and grammatical constructions (which have a form paired with a meaning). In this view.THE BASIS OF METAPHOR 87 extension of metaphor from language (linguistic metaphors) to mind (conceptual metaphors) to body (bodily basis of metaphor) and to brain. We get inferences when the activation of a meaningful node results in the activation of another meaningful node. In the neural theory of language. A node is meaningful when its activation results in the activation of the whole neural simulation. It follows. a key role is played by mirror neurons. Researchers in this paradigm think of semantics as simulation. When the spreading activation from A meets the activation from B. The brain is made up of neurons. then. A and B. . color and shape are not computed in the same part of the brain. In the neural theory of metaphor. I begin my outline with the more general neural theory of language before I go on to the new treatment of metaphors in the neural theory. As mentioned.

These are metaphors that we learn just by functioning naturally in the world. Second. and this gives us a large number of primary metaphors on which more complex ones can be built.e. since the nodes corresponding to source and target domains in conventional metaphors are connected by fixed brain circuitry. the cognitive linguistic view maintains that the selection of source domains depends on human factors that reflect nonobjective. and processing will take place over both simultaneously.e. The source domains for a particular target cannot be predicted within a given language. These are called the “experiential bases” or “motivation” of conceptual metaphors. (3) perceived structural similarity induced by basic metaphors. either. the source may be either the biological or the cultural root of the target. Let us see two of these. the ones whose source and target domains are not linked as naturally as in primary metaphors in simply functioning in the world). The neural theory of metaphor extends the study of metaphor to the brain. The suitable brain activations occur as a result a living our normal lives in the world. By contrast. The source-to-target mappings are merely motivated by the factors mentioned above. When two groups of neurons get connected by a mapping circuit.. This is because we have the same bodies and have essentially the same relevant environment. Both of these predictions have been confirmed in a variety of experimental studies. it predicts that conceptual metaphors that are based on primary metaphors are more easily learned and understood than metaphors that are not based on such metaphors (that is. The neural theory of metaphor makes several important predictions. groups of neurons become connected in the brain by means of neural circuitry. nonliteral. literal. SUMMARY On what basis do we select the source domains for particular targets? In the traditional view. Some of the common kinds of such similarities are (1) correlations in experience. . (2) perceived structural similarity. The result will be that metaphorical processing will not take longer than nonmetaphorical processing. we have to do with conceptual metaphors. Conceptual metaphors have motivation (i. and (4) source being the root of the target. First. cannot be predicted). As a result of our normal functioning in the world. but we cannot expect metaphors that contradict universal human experience. not prediction (i. the processing of metaphorical expressions will activate both source and target. the selection of sources assumes an objective. We cannot expect the exact same metaphors to occur in all languages. and preexisting similarity between the source and the target.. and nonpreexisting similarities between a source and a target domain.88 METAPHOR and they are discussed more extensively in chapter 7). The same applies to cross-linguistic comparisons. In this last case. are motivated).

Johnson (1987). Grady (1999) offers a useful typology of metaphorical motivation. and Lakoff and Kövecses (1987) emphasize the embodied nature. by Jackendoff (1988. and Narayanan (1999). as demonstrated by the saying: “Dancing is the perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire. . What other special cases of the purposes are destinations general metaphor can you think of. 1991) in his “thematic relations” hypothesis. Read the following situation and its corresponding dream. Lakoff and Johnson (1980) offer a criticism of the “comparison view” of metaphor and challenge the notion that metaphor is based on objective. Frank was led to believe that he was going to inherit a large sum of money upon the death of one of his rich relatives. but not prediction. this relative changed his will so when he died. besides life is a journey and love is a journey—the ones mentioned in the chapter? 3. Lakoff (1993) summarizes the main fallacies of several of the rival views on metaphor. In this chapter. Lakoff (1987). is discussed from a cognitive linguistic point of view by Lakoff and Turner (1989). and consider the way they are grounded in experience. Lakoff (1987) points out that in a given conceptual system there is motivation. list overarching conceptual metaphors. you have read about the more is up and the less is down metaphors. literal. identify the metaphorical elements. the motivation of conceptual metaphor. hence. Important papers in the same line of study include Feldman and Narayanan (2004). How are the healthy is up and the sick is down metaphors grounded in correlations in our experience? 4. He is scared to death that he is going to be crushed. Expand on what you have learned. Something like “perceived structural similarity” as a basis for some metaphors has been suggested by Gentner (1983) in her studies of analogy. he panics and starts plunging. such as correlation in experience and perceived structural similarity.THE BASIS OF METAPHOR 89 FURTHER READING The traditional theory of metaphor. Metaphorical grounding often becomes apparent in dreams. However.” What kind of motivation is involved in the dance is sex metaphor? 5. he was very much looking forward to it. Gallese and Lakoff (2005). Frank was left with very little money. How are the following metaphors grounded: love is fire and love is a journey? 2. and by Murphy (1996). Dance is metaphorically viewed as sex. Frank is soaring very high over a mountain. The section on the neural theory of metaphor is based on Lakoff (2008a). All of a sudden. A book-length study of the same general issues is Feldman’s (2006) work. As he had financial difficulties. in its several versions. together with spelling out the advantages of the typology for a cognitive linguistic theory of metaphor. They also outline some of the kinds of nonobjective similarities. on which conceptual metaphors are based. preexisting similarity. EXERCISES 1. In his dream.

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only partial. for example. But this formulation of what conceptual metaphors involve is not precise enough. However. the mind is a brittle object metaphor: the mind is a brittle object Her ego is very fragile.7 The Partial Nature of Metaphorical Mappings I t has been emphasized throughout that conceptual metaphors can be characterized by the formula A IS B. However. this would mean that an entire target concept is understood in terms of an entire source concept. In the case of structural metaphors. b. Only a part of concept b is mapped onto target a and only a part of target a is involved in the mappings from b. Let us take. is understood in terms of a source domain. In discussing this issue. this cannot be the case because concept a cannot be the same as another concept b. 1. Concepts in general (both source and target) are characterized by a number of different aspects. You have to handle him with care since his wife’s death. only some (but not all) aspects of the target are brought into focus. in which a target domain. and can be. He broke under cross-examination. It’s been pointed out that a conceptual metaphor of the structural kind is constituted by a set of mappings between a source and a target. She is easily crushed. a. the idea of mappings is relevant. When a source domain is applied to a target. whereas what we will call “metaphorical utilization” applies to the source domain. We need to ask which part(s) of the source are mapped onto which part(s) in the target. 91 . the mappings between a and b are. Metaphorical Highlighting Metaphorical highlighting applies to the target domain.

construction. As the examples indicate. the lack of it. To see how the processes of highlighting and hiding jointly operate. This metaphorical source domain focuses on a single aspect of the concept of the mind. and so on. the other aspects of the concept will remain hidden. The building metaphor captures the aspects of the construction of an argument and its strength. the basicness of its claims or points. And the sole concern of the war metaphor for arguments appears to be the issue or aspect of control.92 METAPHOR The experience shattered him. These metaphors focus on. This means that when a concept has several aspects (which is normally the case) and the metaphor focuses on one (or maybe two or three) aspect(s). They address the issue of the content of an argument. It does not seem to enable us to think and talk about such aspects of arguments as content. that is. we can say that it highlights that or those aspect(s). We have got a good foundation for the argument. The journey metaphor focuses on progress and content. I’m going to pieces. and its strength. The war metaphor’s main focus seems to be the issue of control over the argument. an argument is war: He won the argument. an argument is a building: She constructed a solid argument. the metaphors highlight certain aspects of arguments and at the same time hide other aspects of it. its construction. What is the core of his argument? an argument is a journey: We will proceed in a step-by-step fashion. the following can be suggested: The container metaphor highlights the content and basicness of an argument. control. Highlighting and hiding presuppose each other. For instance. basicness. Highlighting necessarily goes together with hiding. when the container metaphor highlights issues of content and basicness. When a metaphor focuses on one or some aspects of a target concept. in this case. Given the examples above. construction. the main focus is on the aspect that we can call “psychological strength”—or. consider some metaphors for the concept of argument. out of focus. I couldn’t defend that point. the progress made. and strength. He cracked up. it simultaneously hides such other aspects such as progress. We have covered a lot of ground. We . a number of the aspects of the concept of argument. an argument is a container: Your argument has a lot of content. who controls it. As can be seen. or highlight. His mind snapped.

The metaphorical expressions refer to the construction of a building with such words as construct and build. Let us call this latter process partial metaphorical utilization. in the process to be discussed here I show that only a part of the source is used for this purpose. you can build a strong argument. they can be found on streets or roads. If you don’t support your argument with solid facts. These linguistic metaphors can be taken to be fairly representative of the argument is a building metaphor. Notice that many aspects of our concept of building are not used in the metaphorical comprehension of arguments. He thrives on love. and support. they are equipped with chimneys.1. they have a roof. 1. they make use of the construction. strong. Which parts of the concept of building do they use in the metaphorical comprehension of arguments? It appears that. Metaphorical Utilization Another property of metaphorical mappings is that speakers tend to use only some aspects of a source domain in understanding a target. Let us look at one more example that illustrates the same process. She is sustained by love. they have windows and doors. . and to its strength with such words as buttress. they often have other houses next to them. structure. they appear to be highly conventionalized and widely used. Take the love is a nutrient metaphor with some typical examples such as the following: I’m starved for affection. You should try to buttress your argument with more facts. I was given new strength by her love. She’s love-starved. Whereas in the preceding section it was shown that the focus of a source on a target is partial. there are people living or working in them. It seems that all this information remains unutilized when the argument is a building metaphor is applied. then. Buildings typically have rooms and corridors. typically and most conventionally. With the groundwork you’ve got. they are built in a particular architectural style. and strength of a building. solid. and so on. to the general structure of the building with such words as framework. the whole thing will collapse. We can continue with the example of the argument is a building metaphor. Here are some more metaphorical expressions for this metaphor: We’ve got the framework for a solid argument.THE PARTIAL NATURE OF METAPHORICAL MAPPINGS 93 can conclude. that different metaphors highlight different aspects of the same target concept and at the same time hide its other aspects.

that eventually some of the nutrient goes out of the body. When we think and speak unconventionally. that we talk about partial metaphorical utilization in the course of conventional thought and language use. the nutrient metaphor for love utilizes chiefly the “hunger/thirst” and the corresponding “desire/effect” aspect of the concept of nutrient. to the extent that the preceding expressions are representative. this linguistic example can be interpreted as also belonging to the love is fire metaphor.” This is the topic in chapter 4. the positive effects of being well nourished (sustain. no reference is conventionally made to the idea that nutrients come into the body from outside. Overall. For example. Thus. only certain aspects of it are conceptually utilized and activated in the comprehension of a target domain. As discussed. new strength. then. although just one or a few aspects of a source and target concept are utilized and highlighted in conceptual metaphors. while leaving most of the concept un. Another point to keep in mind in connection with the discussion is that. and the negative consequences of a lack of nutrients (being starved).” (Anne Bradstreet.or underutilized. “To My Dear and Loving Husband”) (As noted in chapter 4.” Instead. does not affect the point here. this metaphor highlights the aspects of desire for love and the consequence of love. since one source domain would not be sufficient to comprehend a target. while it utilizes the hunger and nourishment . however. elements from one domain are mapped onto elements of another. they are inevitable. that we store them in the refrigerator or the pantry. and many more. the processes of utilization and highlighting concerning those aspects work according to normal principles of mappings. but I can illustrate the process with an example offered by the love is a nutrient metaphor: An unconventional extension of the metaphorically utilized parts of love is a nutrient: “My love is such that rivers cannot quench. In sum. we can extend our conventional patterns of thought and language into what we called the “unutilized parts of the source. This possibility.94 METAPHOR The source domain utilizes and activates some aspects of the concept of nutrient. that nutrients may go bad and can make us sick. that we digest nutrients in order to process them.) The example represents a case in which the conventionally utilized part of the source is extended into a new part or aspect of the source concept. let us take the love is a nutrient metaphor. In other words. As an illustration. many things in connection with nutrients are left out of this picture. Given a source domain. thrive). However. metaphorical utilization of the source is partial as well. in the same way as metaphorical highlighting of the target is partial. that we may have to go out and buy nutrients. It is important to see. however. Highlighting and hiding are not processes that we can regard as being undesirable or “bad. the source domain of nutrient utilizes such aspects of the concept as the desire for nourishment (starved).

2. viable. when we talk about utilization and highlighting in connection with a source and a target. but others are not. rearrange. 1997b) suggests the following solution. This raises the question: Why are just these elements involved and not the others? To take a specific example. The argument (theory) is a building metaphor is a complex one that is composed of primary metaphors. But this correspondence of the aspects of nutrient and love is achieved via detailed mappings. in the present case. and they cannot be said to be structurally similar. structure. or otherwise manipulate them. respectively. Why These Particular Elements? So far we have seen that the mappings between source and target are only partial. we talk about two sides of the same coin. I noted above that certain aspects of buildings such as construction. let us return to the argument is a building metaphor or its more general version theories are buildings. The experiential basis of logical structure is physical structure is the correlation between physical structures (like that of a house) and the abstract principles that enable us to make. there are two such primary metaphors: logical structure is physical structure and persisting is remaining erect. Whereas the argument (theory) is a building metaphor would be difficult to motivate (buildings and arguments/theories are not correlated in experience. and working.THE PARTIAL NATURE OF METAPHORICAL MAPPINGS 95 aspects of the concept of nutrient. The utilized and highlighted aspects of a source and a target are brought together in a conceptual metaphor through a detailed set of mappings between some of the elements in the source and target domains. whereas others such as tenants or windows or corridors are not. Primary metaphors are motivated independently of complex ones. Why should this be the case? Joe Grady (1997a. the language of the two primary metaphors may be independent of the com- . viable. take apart. and working but fall down when they are not functional. In this complex metaphor. the two primary metaphors that constitute it can be. Primary metaphors also have their independent language. as shown below: nutrient the hungry person food hunger physical nourishment the effects of nourishment Þ Þ Þ Þ Þ love the person who desires love love the desire for love psychological strength the consequences of love Thus. and strength are utilized (with their respective elements in the mappings). some elements of the source and the target are involved. In the case of persisting is remaining erect. either). the experiential basis is the correlation we repeatedly experience between things that remain erect or upright when they are functional.

will be comprehended via such conceptual metaphors as an argument is a container. we get an elegant explanation for why just these mappings participate in the metaphor and not others. 3. and tenants are not. The combination of these two primary metaphors gives us what we know as the argument (theory) is a building metaphor. For example.” not only about a “strong argument” (logical structure is physical structure).” and not only about a theory “standing or falling” (persisting is remaining erect). This is typical of target domains. Why Do We Have Several Source Concepts for a Single Target? Clearly. and strength. The combined version viable logical structures are erect physical structures captures those aspects of arguments/theories that have to do with structure. The question inevitably arises: Why should this be the case? Why don’t we simply have one conceptual metaphor for a given target? The answer is straightforward in light of what we have shown in the preceding two sections in this chapter: Since concepts (both target and source) have several aspects to them. and strength (or. structure and persistence). the various aspects of the concept of argument. progress. but windows.96 METAPHOR plex metaphor an argument (theory) is a building. speakers need several source domains to understand these different aspects of target concepts. metaphors such as these enable speakers to make sense of various target concepts. they resort to several source domains in understanding a single target domain—argument. chimneys. Below is a list of the metaphors that speakers of English most commonly use to talk about happiness as an emotion. as it is jointly characterized by a number of conceptual metaphors. that is. an argument is a journey. and an argument is a building. and about a recipe that “stood the test of time. speakers of English have several conceptual metaphors for the concept of argument. in many of these instances. Since the complex metaphor is built out of these particular primary ones. I will discuss the concept of happiness in some detail. We use not just one but a number of source concepts to comprehend them. we can talk about a “strong proposal. in Grady’s wording. (The word happiness. such as content. is replaceable and . construction. In many cases. Thus. why framework (“physical structure”) and buttress (“remaining erect”) are mapped. But how does this actually happen? How do several metaphors jointly produce an understanding for a given target domain? To get an idea of this.

Furthermore. as opposed to dark. she lit up. brighten up. It was paradise on earth. Her face was bright with happiness. The first three conceptual metaphors all give happiness an “upward orientation. it gets a highly positive evaluation. When she heard the news. I’ve died and gone to heaven. The obvious relationship among them is that they are all “upward oriented.” . The main emphasis of the vitality metaphor is that the happy person is energetic. glow. I was just soaring with happiness. I’m six feet off the ground. Nothing to worry about. the happy person is characterized by a great deal of energy.) In the discussion of each of these metaphors. being happy is being in heaven That was heaven on earth. he or she is “full of life. brighten up. They were in high spirits. radiate. I will point out the most important mappings between the source and the target of this emotion. Lighten up! She lit up.” Since light. She was shining with joy. since they are characterized by distinct but obviously related source concepts: being off the ground. happy is up We had to cheer him up. After the exam. is valued positively. active. shine). and the general concept up. being in heaven. the light appears to derive from an internal heat energy (cf. the light metaphor also highlights the positive evaluation of happiness (light up. as several examples indicate. I was in seventh heaven. I was walking on air for days.THE PARTIAL NATURE OF METAPHORICAL MAPPINGS 97 is often replaced by the word joy.” The upward orientation of these metaphors makes the concept of happiness coherent with a number of other concepts. I prefer to keep these three metaphors distinct. There was a glow of happiness in her face. happiness is light He radiates joy. shine). through the up metaphors. being happy is being off the ground She was on cloud nine.

I felt vivacious. I was bursting with happiness. happiness is an opponent She was overcome with joy. Given the following examples. brim over. She couldn’t contain her joy any longer. He was knocked out! She was seized by joy. happiness is a captive animal I couldn’t keep my happiness to myself. Intensity in this metaphor is indicated by the quantity of the fluid in the container (fill) and by the corresponding inability of the subject of happiness to keep the fluid inside the container (can’t contain. burst). It depicts happiness as a highly intense emotional state that may lead to difficulties in controlling it. it seems that the captive animal metaphor captures two aspects of happiness: giving up the attempt to control the emotion (give way to. they seem to indicate that happiness is a powerful and intense emotion that we regard as taking control of us. Happiness took complete control over him. I brimmed over with joy when I saw her. I got a big charge out of it. but this struggle for control typically results in losing control for the happy person. She overflowed with joy. The container metaphor’s major focus is on the intensity and control aspects of happiness. He bubbled over with joy when he got his presents. . His feelings of joy broke loose. the opponent metaphor suggests that there is an attempt at controlling the emotion on the part of the subject of happiness. She’s animated with joy. That is. That put some life into them. She gave way to her feelings of happiness. I’m feeling spry. To the extent that we can take the following examples to be symptomatic of happiness. can’t hold back) and the need to communicate one’s feelings to another (can’t keep it to myself). break loose. overflow. happiness is a fluid in a container The sight filled them with joy.98 METAPHOR happiness is vitality He was alive with joy. He couldn’t hold back tears of joy.

we do not quite know what we are doing. If we are drunk with joy. Thus. According to the metaphor below. we have no control over what is happening to us. I’m high on life. Another aspect of rapture is the pleasure it imparts. as a horse gets its hay. happiness is a pleasurable physical sensation I was purring with delight. However. He was wallowing in a sea of happiness. we can’t .THE PARTIAL NATURE OF METAPHORICAL MAPPINGS 99 A rapture. a happy person is an animal (that lives well) He was happy as a pig in slop. I was drunk with joy. as well. Here. And not only do we not have control over it. He is as happy as a clam.). The experience was intoxicating. happiness is a rapture It was a delirious feeling. He is as happy as a horse in hay. He was wallowing in a sea of happiness. a happy person gets what he or she needs from the outside world (as a pig gets its slop. or a high. She was crowing with excitement. etc. She was mad with joy. I was beside myself. is associated with energetic behavior. She was crowing with excitement. the major aspect of happiness that the rapture metaphor highlights is excessiveness and loss of control. This metaphor shares some examples with the next one. the insanity metaphor suggests an even greater lack of control than the rapture metaphor. Such a person feels comfort and being in harmony with the surrounding world. I’m on a natural high. happiness is insanity They were crazy with happiness. the aspects of pleasurability and comfort or harmony with the world are focused on. The next metaphor also highlights the feature of control. He was as happy as a pig in shit. This depicts happiness as a highly pleasurable experience. Insanity is a complete lack of control. If we are carried away and swept off our feet. She was chirping like a cricket. I was tickled pink.

(From an animal that lives well) You can’t help what you feel. (From an animal that lives well) You feel energized. He was swept off his feet. either. The highlighted elements in the target domain converge on a certain stereotypical concept of happiness. I was bowled over.e. for instance. rapture) You feel that you are in harmony with the world. an opponent. the idea that when we are very happy. there is a lack of control over behavior.. (From a fluid in a container. a captive animal. a captive animal. (From a fluid in a container) You nevertheless lose control. that is. We were carried away with happiness. An indicator of this idea is given in a number of conceptual metaphors. Given these mappings. Take. (From a fluid in a container) Beyond a certain limit. We are not the agents but the victims or patients. an increase in intensity implies a danger that you will become dysfunctional. will lose control. (From a fluid in a container. we are passive in relation to the event or state that we are involved in. (From vitality) You experience your state as a pleasurable one. natural force) It is not entirely acceptable to give free expression to what you feel (i. an opponent) You try to keep the emotion under control. This is what we mean by understanding a concept jointly by several metaphors. We can now lay out the mappings for each of the metaphors for happiness in table 7. an opponent. (From insanity) This description results from the metaphorical mappings in the conceptual metaphors we have seen and constitutes a large portion of the concept of happiness. happiness is a natural force She was overwhelmed with joy. (From a captive animal. The typical linguistic examples of . you are passive in relation to your feelings. happiness is an opponent. and happiness is insanity. happiness is a captive animal. In other words. there is some loss of control involved. It is this aspect of the concept that is highlighted by the natural force metaphor.1.100 METAPHOR help it. (From natural force) The intensity of your experiences is high. such as happiness is a natural force. They were transported. (From pleasurable physical sensation. to become dysfunctional). we can characterize a good portion of the everyday concept of happiness as follows: You are satisfied. a natural force) As a result.

1 Mappings Metaphor being happy is being off the ground being happy is being in heaven happy is up happiness is light happiness is vitality happiness is a fluid in a container Aspects of Source the goodness of being “up” Aspects of Target the goodness of happiness happiness is a captive animal happiness is an opponent happiness is a rapture a happy person is an animal (that lives well) happiness is a pleasurable physical sensation happiness is insanity happiness is a natural force the goodness of being “light” the energy of light the energy of vitality the quantity of the fluid trying to keeping the fluid inside the inability to control a large quantity of the fluid the inability to hold the animal back the inability to withstand the attack of an opponent the physical pleasure of rapture the lack of control in a state of rapture the satisfaction of the animal the pleasurable physical sensation the mental lack of control over insanity the inability to resist the force the physical helplessness the goodness of happiness the energy that accompanies happiness the energy that accompanies happiness the intensity of happiness trying to control happiness the inability to control intense happiness the inability to control happiness the inability to control happiness the emotional pleasantness of happiness the lack of control in happiness the harmony felt by the happy person the harmony felt by the happy person the emotional lack of control over happiness the inability to control happiness the emotional passivity .Table 7.

You feel a need to communicate your feelings to others. and. the language we use about happiness reveals the way we think about happiness. The intensity of your experiences is high. etc. agitation. . you are passive in relation to your feelings. you try to keep the emotion under control: You attempt not to engage in the behavioral responses. There is an immediate emotional response to this.e. You achieve it. The feeling may “spread” to others. It is not entirely acceptable to give free expression to what you feel (i.102 METAPHOR these metaphors suggest that the person who is intensely happy is likely to undergo some loss of control (we are overwhelmed. an increase in intensity implies a danger that you will become dysfunctional. the characterization of the concept of happiness as given above is incomplete. and/or not to communicate what you feel. Attempt at Control Because it is not entirely acceptable to communicate or give free expression to what you feel. including brightness of the eyes. we are seized. A more complete description of happiness would look like this: Cause of Happiness You want to achieve something. often. You have a positive outlook on the world. to become dysfunctional). jumping up and down. Loss of Control You nevertheless lose control. Beyond a certain limit. smiling. The context for the state you are in is often a social one involving celebrations. we go crazy. including warmth. including metonymy and literal concepts (on metonymy. You feel energized. see chapter 12). Thus. You display a variety of expressive and behavioral responses. Existence of Happiness You are satisfied. You feel that you are in harmony with the world. and/or not to display the expressive reactions. You can’t help what you feel. As a result. there is a lack of control over behavior. will lose control. Certain further aspects of it are structured by other than metaphorical means..). it is not claimed that all of the concept is metaphorically structured. Thus. However. and the way we think about it is given in a prototypical cognitive model. laughing. even crying. You also experience physiological responses. You experience your state as a pleasurable one. that is. and excitement.

” The part of the target that falls outside the highlighted region is said to be “hidden. Primary metaphors combine to form complex ones. and thus provide full understanding for. 1990) demonstrates this process for such emotion concepts as anger. The source domains jointly produce the structure and content of abstract concepts. part of the content of the concept happiness is not metaphorical (but literal and metonymic). More complications in the conceptual representation of the concept of happiness are discussed in chapter 8. fear. However. all aspects of a target. In addition. and energetic behavior with a lot of movement). the concept could not be adequately described. without the extensive metaphorical contribution to this content. they show which metaphors map onto which aspect(s) of the target domain of argument. FURTHER READING Lakoff and Johnson (1980) introduce the notions of metaphorical highlighting and hiding. . provides structure for. As can be seen. They also discuss briefly the notion of utilization—using the terms “used” and “unused” as parts of a source. some of the them are literal and metonymic. We have called this “partial metaphorical utilization. As we saw in the case of happiness. You may.” Why do we need several source domains to understand a target fully? This is because each source can only structure certain aspects of a target. The primary metaphors determine which particular elements of the source are mapped onto the target. Only a part of the source domain is utilized in every conceptual metaphor. however. uncontrolled behavior (often in the form of dancing. only a part of the target concept.” This partial structure of the source highlights. Lakoff and Kövecses (1987) demonstrate in detail how a large number of metaphorical source domains jointly “produce” the target concept of anger. in addition. SUMMARY Metaphorical mappings from a source to a target are only partial. There are primary and complex metaphors. exhibit wild. Kövecses (1986. singing. We have called this “metaphorical highlighting. happiness can be described in terms of features that are largely metaphorical. Grady and his colleagues (1996) explain why certain things do and certain other things do not get mapped from the source to the target by recourse to primary metaphors that constitute complex ones. that all features of abstract concepts are metaphorical. 1988. chiefly elaborating on the metaphorical structure of the concept of communication as conceptualized by the “conduit” metaphor. and/or communicate what you feel. and/or display expressive reactions. no source domain can structure. that is.THE PARTIAL NATURE OF METAPHORICAL MAPPINGS 103 Action You engage in the behavioral responses. This is not to say.

She was ruled by sorrow. 9. Gibbs (1994) also provides a summary of experimental results that confirm the psychological reality and metaphorical nature of our cognitive models for abstract concepts such as anger. Kövecses (1991a) provides a similar description for the concept of happiness. and the superordinate concept of emotion itself. love.2 characterize the concept of love. He was insane with grief. He is in a dark mood. 10. 8. the ones given in table 7. using table 7.2 Metaphor love is a journey love is a nutrient love is fire love is magic Example It’s been a long bumpy road. The following are some linguistic examples that characterize the concept of sadness. I am under her spell. He is burning with love. I am filled with sorrow. Among other conceptual metaphors. He brought me down with his remarks. respect.4. He drowned his sorrow in drink. 3. Quinn (1991) challenges the idea that metaphors can constitute or “produce” cultural models. sadness is a natural force). Allbritton (1995) contains further experimental evidence concerning the metaphorical nature of such concepts. take some of the conceptual metaphors and describe which aspects of sadness are highlighted and hidden by them. I am starved for love.3 Linguistic Examples 1. His feelings of misery got out of hand. 2. can you see any connections with the analysis of the concept of happiness given in the chapter? Table 7. That was a terrible blow. Waves of depression came over him.104 METAPHOR pride. using cross-cultural data.g. EXERCISES 1. Conceptual Metaphors sadness is a natural force . 7.. Highlighted and Utilized Aspects Table 7. 6. 4. (b) Now. Time heals all sorrows. 5. (a) Try to analyze them: identify the conceptual metaphors that the examples in table 7. Kövecses (1995c) also offers a response to Quinn’s claims. Look how far we’ve come. Gibbs (1994) and Kövecses (1999) respond to Quinn. What aspects of the source and target domains are utilized and highlighted in each of these conceptual metaphors? 2. Barcelona (1986) does the same for sadness.3 are manifestations of (e. (c) Based on the results of your analysis.

8. elaborates on the concept of life. 6. Which part or aspect of the source concept is this an extension of? What is Shakespeare’s attitude to the metaphor? To sleep? Perchance to dream! Ay.THE PARTIAL NATURE OF METAPHORICAL MAPPINGS 105 Table 7. Identify the mappings to see which parts of the source are utilized and which aspects of the target are highlighted. The following is an unconventional extension of the metaphorically utilized parts of the death is sleep metaphor. Read the poem on the Internet and find the dominant conceptual metaphor in it.” a poem by Reneé Duvall. 3. 7. Hamlet) 4. For in that sleep of death what dreams may come? (Shakespeare. there’s the rub. 9. . “The Ocean.4 Conceptual Metaphors 1. 4. 10. sadness is a natural force Highlighted Aspects Passivity Lack of control Hidden Aspects Cause Attempt at control Behavioral responses 2. Name additional conceptual metaphors that jointly produce the content of the target. 3. 5.

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1986. and Embodiment O ne of the goals of this chapter is to show how conceptual metaphors “work together” with cognitive models in the creation of abstract concepts. To understand how happiness is structured and what its content is. it was argued that cognitive models are made up of conceptual metaphors. I argue for the latter position and use emotion concepts to illustrate their embodied nature. and cognitive models (see Kövecses. fear. But concepts may consist of not just one but several prototypical cognitive models. 1. The Conceptual Structure of Emotion Concepts In previous research on emotion concepts. conceptual metonymies.8 Cognitive Models. and related concepts constitute the cognitive models. My suggestion in all this work was that the conceptual metaphors. and literal concepts. With this goal in mind. Let us now see some representative examples for each of these. The last issue I pay particular attention to is whether the concepts we have are disembodied abstractions or are grounded in human experience.). such as anger. I demonstrate this by further investigating the concept of happiness. 107 . and happiness. In chapter 7. 1988. and the different cognitive models may be made up of different conceptual metaphors. related concepts. The concept of happiness is an emotion concept. conceptual metonymies. I have found that emotion concepts are composed of four distinct conceptual ingredients: conceptual metaphors. I describe the concept of emotion in general. 1990. and literal concepts. love. we need to look at the more general category of emotions. conceptual metonymies. Metaphors. 2000a. conceptual metonymies. It is the cognitive models that we assume to be the conceptual representations of particular emotions.

2. Conceptual Metonymies I discuss conceptual metonymies in detail in chapter 12. Briefly. and Panther and Radden.1.. for instance. or the other way round. 1. Given the force-dynamic character of these conceptual metaphors (in that they involve two forceful entities in interaction. in the sense in which this was outlined by Leonard Talmy (1988). with the latter being more common than the former. . emotion and the self) and given that they can be said to make up a large part of the conceptual structure associated with the emotions.) Following are some representative specific-level cases of the general metonymy effect of emotion for the emotions: body heat for anger drop in body temperature for fear chest out for pride running away for fear ways of looking for love facial expression for sadness In each of these. pride). Conceptual Metaphors Some of the most typical conceptual metaphors that characterize emotions include the following: emotion emotion emotion emotion emotion emotion emotion emotion emotion is is is is is is is is is a fluid in a container heat/fire a natural force a physical force a social superior an opponent a captive animal a force dislocating the self burden Such conceptual metaphors are instantiations of a general force-dynamic pattern (see Kövecses.108 METAPHOR 1. 2000a). The conceptual metonymies relating to the emotions can be of two general types: cause of emotion for the emotion and effect of emotion for the emotions. see. it can be suggested that emotion concepts are largely force-dynamically constituted (Kövecses. what we mean by conceptual metonymy is a situation in which a part of a domain (concept) is used to indicate another part within the same domain or the whole domain (concept) of which it is a part. is used to indicate) the whole domain (such as anger. 1999. a part of an emotion domain (effect) stands for (i. 2000b. Barcelona. (On metonymy in the cognitive linguistic view. such as cause and the self. 2000a). fear.e.

COGNITIVE MODELS. In this sense. Related Concepts What I call “related concepts” are emotions or attitudes that the subject of emotion has in relation to the object or cause of emotion. After all. whereas nonprototypical members are represented as deviations from the prototypical model (or models). This explains why the words girlfriend and boyfriend can be used to talk about people who are in a romantic love relationship. The conceptual metaphors. and expressive responses associated with particular emotions. For example. (As noted in chapter 7. and related concepts all converge on such a prototypical model (or models) for particular emotions. with some members being central. As I have suggested previously . 1. (Related concepts display different degrees of relatedness—inherent concepts are most closely related to a particular concept. METAPHORS. A particular emotion can be represented by means of one or several cognitive models that are prototypical of that emotion. friendship is a concept inherent in the concept of romantic love. Prototypical members of emotion categories are represented by prototypical cognitive models. Rosch.. this is a controversial issue. 1990). conceptual metonymies. body heat for anger and drop in body temperature for fear are conceptual representations of physiological responses. by mentioning one such inherent concept I may refer to the whole concept of which it is a part. behavioral. Thus. Such cognitive models can be metaphoric or metonymic. chest out for pride and running away for fear are those of behavioral responses. This emerges from the Roschean idea that categories have a large number of members. 1.) It can be suggested that such inherent concepts function as conceptual metonymies. In the example.) The prototypical cognitive models can be thought of as folk theories of particular emotions (Kövecses. friendship is an emotion or emotional attitude that the subject of love prototypically has toward the beloved. and ways of looking for love and facial expression for sadness are those of expressive responses.3. I suggest that the conceptual ingredients jointly constitute a cognitive model. The mental representation of such central members can be given in the form of prototypical cognitive models. AND EMBODIMENT 109 These specific types of conceptual metonymies correspond to physiological. Emotions are conceptually represented as cognitive models. 1978). friendship may indicate romantic love. we can legitimately expect the subject of love to also exhibit the emotional attitude of friendship toward the beloved. Such uses of related concepts can be taken to be part for whole metonymies. one or some of which are prototypical and many of which are nonprototypical (e.4. If someone says that he or she is in love with someone.g. Cognitive Models Following Lakoff (1987). we can think of a category as constituted by a large number of members.

There is the possibility of either opponent 1 winning or opponent 2 winning. expressive. The Concept of Happiness The description of the concept of emotion helps us understand the concept of happiness. Societies may impose different sets of control mechanisms on emotions. I was gripped by emotion.110 METAPHOR (Kövecses. and behavioral responses. . The description of happiness in this section is largely based on Kövecses (1991a). the most schematic folk theory of emotions in general can be given as follows: cause of emotion → emotion → (controlling emotion →) response In other words. is active and attempts to cause opponent one to give in to his force. there are certain social constraints on which responses are socially acceptable. while corresponding to opponent 2 in the source is the emotion in the target domain. and the emotion itself is also seen as a cause that has a “force” to effect some kind of response by the (now emotional) self (physiological. 2000a). If the emotion “wins. There are two opponents in this struggle. There is some struggle in which opponent 1 tries to resist opponent 2’s force and opponent 2 tries to make him give in to his force. Corresponding to opponent 1 in the source is the rational self in the target. This general folk theory of emotions derives from the application of the generic-level conceptual metaphor causes are forces. whatever leads to an emotion is conceptualized as a cause that has enough “force” to effect a change of state in the (rational) self. The metaphor applies to both the first part and the second part of the model. She was overcome by emotion.” the self undergoes a variety of physiological. and the emotions we have make us produce certain responses. The other. Now let us see how this works in relation to the second part of the prototypical emotion scenario. or expressive). Commonly. He was struggling with his emotions. In the model. As the first and third examples suggest. it is the presence and double application of this generic-level metaphor that enables a force-dynamic interpretation of emotional experience. we have only a general idea of what emotions are like: there are certain causes that lead to emotions. As a matter of fact. 2. Let us take the emotion is an opponent (in a struggle) conceptual metaphor as an example: emotion is an opponent He was seized by emotion. the one who seizes and grips. behavioral. one opponent is inactive (the one that is seized and gripped all of a sudden).

and being in heaven are all quite positive. . Metaphors Providing an Evaluation of Happiness happiness happiness happiness happiness is is is is light: He was beaming with joy. General Emotion Metaphors happiness is a fluid in a container: She was bursting with joy. happiness is a captive animal: All joy broke loose as the kids opened their presents.2. happiness is a disease: Her good mood was contagious. each with a linguistic example. three types of conceptual metaphor can be distinguished: general emotion metaphors. AND EMBODIMENT 111 2. happiness is heat/fire: Fires of joy were kindled by the birth of her son. Having light. Metaphors of Happiness The concept of happiness is characterized by a large number and various types of conceptual metaphors. The particular conceptual metaphors are given below. happiness is an opponent: She was seized by joy. happiness is a natural force: I was overwhelmed by joy. the captive animal metaphor is simply used to indicate a loss of control. The conceptual metaphors above are called “general emotion” metaphors because each applies to some or most emotion concepts. not being weighed down. 2. happiness is a force dislocating the self: He was beside himself with joy. being in heaven: I was in seventh heaven.” As discussed in chapter 7. the colorful decorations arose and the sanctuary became a place of celebration. up: I’m feeling up today. and being down). 2. How can the captive animal metaphor be used of happiness and joy? But a Google search shows that it can be.1. Specifically. Consider the following example from the Internet: “Then all joy broke loose. which characterize the opposite of happiness: sadness or depression. not only to happiness. being up. and metaphors that provide much of the phenomenological nature or character of happiness.1. unlike their opposites (dark. happiness is insanity: The crowd went crazy with joy. happiness is a physical force: He was hit by happiness. Not surprisingly. these metaphors provide a highly positive evaluation for the concept of happiness.1. The music started. METAPHORS. Some of the examples may at first sound strange. metaphors that provide an evaluation of the concept of happiness.COGNITIVE MODELS. feeling light (not heavy): I was floating. happiness is a social superior: They live a life ruled by happiness.1. being weighed down.

Metaphors Providing the Phenomenological Character of Happiness Some conceptual metaphors capture the nature of our experiences—their phenomenological character: for example. Furthermore. Expressive Responses bright eyes for happiness smiling for happiness Happiness often manifests itself through such behavioral.1. heart rate. Conceptual Metonymies of Happiness The specific conceptual metonymies that apply to happiness correspond to behavioral. being drunk: It was an intoxicating experience. physiological. . as seen below. These conceptual metaphors give the “feeling tone” of happiness. we can find some degree of cultural variation in such responses. Physiological Responses flushing for happiness increased heart rate for happiness body warmth for happiness agitation/excitement for happiness 2. For example. Behavioral Responses jumping up and down for happiness dancing/singing for happiness 2. interestingly.2. in Buddhism. feeling warmth is normally evaluated as a positive experience. 2. We can indicate our own or another person’s happiness by referring to any one of these responses. For example. warmth: What she said made me feel warm all over.2.112 METAPHOR 2.2. and expressive responses.2. rather than increased. and expressive responses. The latter two types of conceptual metaphor may be correlated: For example. happiness is associated with reduced. they depict the way happiness feels to the person experiencing it. vitality: He was full of pep.3. physiological. that is.1. a pleasurable physical sensation: I was tickled pink.2. whether the experience typically associated with the target domain concept is something good or bad. happiness happiness happiness happiness happiness is is is is is an animal that lives well: I was purring with delight. smiling is prototypically taken to be a sign of being happy. 2.3.

pp. I suggest that the general concept of happiness is best described as having three prototypical cognitive models and many nonprototypical ones clustering around the three prototypes. Fabiszak. The form of happiness that is involved is commonly referred to as joy.4.1. The three prototypes are “happiness as an immediate response. You display a variety of expressive and behavioral responses including brightness of the eyes. conceptual metonymies. smiling. Related Concepts Similar to many other emotion concepts. Prototypical Cognitive Models of Happiness The theory of cognitive models applies to happiness as a conceptual category in the following way.4.” and “happiness as being glad. Finally. Existence of joy You are satisfied.” In other words. The conceptual metaphors. when we are happy. and. as discussed below. the suggestion is that it is these three senses of the word happiness that stand out among the many shades and kinds of meaning that the word happiness may be used to denote. I do not suggest that this is the only meaning of the word joy (see. This joy/happiness can be characterized by the cognitive model to follow. There is an immediate emotional response to this on your part. happiness also consists of several “related concepts”—that is. They seem to be the most salient meanings—but. even crying.COGNITIVE MODELS. and related concepts mentioned above jointly converge on one or several prototypical cognitive models of happiness. jumping up and down. Happiness as an Immediate Response In “happiness as an immediate response. as repeated here from chapter 7.” a person responds with a form of happiness to a desired outcome. for instance. 2000. often. laughing. happiness assumes being satisfied with a certain outcome. Cause of joy You want to achieve something. METAPHORS. AND EMBODIMENT 113 2. 2. 2. but it is the one that I analyze here. we tend to feel harmony with the world. . These include: (feeling of) satisfaction (feeling of) pleasure (feeling of) harmony In prototypical cases. each for a different reason. Happiness also entails a feeling of pleasure. 299–303). concepts that are inherent in or closely related to the concept of happiness.” “happiness as a value.3. You achieve it.

It is not entirely acceptable for you to communicate and/or give free expression to what you feel (i. The “immediate response” model is a salient one due to its high degree of “noticeability. Beyond a certain limit..2. you try to keep the emotion under control: You attempt not to engage in the behavioral responses and/or not to display the expressive responses and/or not communicate what you feel.” It is dominated by highly noticeable behavioral. negative emotions.e. You have a positive outlook on the world. leading eventually to a loss of control. Attempt at control Because it is not entirely acceptable to communicate and/or give free expression of what you feel. You can’t help what you feel. in addition. and expressive responses (i. including body warmth and agitation/excitement. Action You engage in the behavioral responses and/or display expressive responses and/or communicate what you feel. Loss of control You nevertheless lose control. Instead.. to lose control). happiness as a value is not characterized by a forceful emotion interacting with an opposing self. to lose control. which would explain their presence in positive emotions. It seems to me that in Western culture intense forms of emotions are in general negatively valued. uncontrolled behavior (often in the form of dancing. You also experience physiological responses. 2.4. an increase in intensity implies a social danger for you to become dysfunctional. It can certainly be found in romantic love as well (Kövecses. exhibit wild. The feeling you have may “spread” to others.114 METAPHOR You feel energized. This yields happiness as a basic emotion that conforms to the general force-dynamic pattern of intense emotional events. 1988). you are passive in relation to your feelings. You experience your state as a pleasurable one.e. You feel that you are in harmony with the world. The intensity of your feelings and experiences is high. that is. conceptual metonymies) and also by conceptual content that is provided by conceptual metaphors suggesting intensity and control. Other basic emotions have a similar force-dynamic pattern. You feel a need to communicate your feelings to others. You may. The context for the state is commonly a social one involving celebrations. As a result. and energetic behavior with a lot of movement). there is a lack of control over behavior. each with its characteristic response profile as reflected in language by conceptual metonymies. singing. It is debatable whether the part “attempt at control” is just as important with happiness as with other. Happiness as a Value By contrast. this form of happiness is . physiological.

. As we have seen. the two forms of happiness described above are referred to by means of different words in English: joy for “happiness as an immediate response” and happiness for “happiness as a value. happiness is up: I’m feeling up today. which can also be taken as a linguistic example of the happiness is a desired hidden object conceptual metaphor. It is not readily available.” The distinction between joy and happiness in terms of distinctive sets of metaphors noticed by Kövecses (1991a) was borne out by later corpus linguistic studies (Stefanowitch. You have a positive outlook on the world. It takes a long time to achieve it. METAPHORS. happiness is a desired hidden object: At long last I have found happiness.3. happiness as a value is not characterized by highly salient emotional responses and a forcedynamically constituted control aspect. It is just as difficult to maintain. This is the kind of happiness that comes closest to the one represented by the phrase “the pursuit of happiness” (as in the Declaration of Independence). The cognitive model based on these metaphors can be given as follows: Causes of happiness (freedom. (This is why some of its typical vague and general causes are given in parentheses below. It is a desired state. It is associated with positive value. 2004) and in cognitive psychological experiments (Tseng et al. health. as it is to attain. It exists separately from you and is outside you. 2. It is pleasurable. happiness is feeling light (not heavy): I was floating. happiness is being in heaven: I was in seventh heaven.) Such a form of happiness is often captured by the conceptual metaphors to follow.4. AND EMBODIMENT 115 constituted by a quiet state with hardly any noticeable responses or even a clearly identifiable specific cause. It is something that you can “spread” to others. happiness is light: He was beaming with joy. Normally.COGNITIVE MODELS. 2005). love) Existence of happiness Happiness is a state that lasts a long time. It gives you a feeling of harmony with the world. happiness is valuable commodity: You can’t buy happiness. it either requires effort to achieve it or comes to you from external sources. Happiness as Being Glad Happiness as being glad most commonly occurs as a mild positive emotional response to a state of affairs that is not very important to someone or whose .

You feel that you are in harmony with the world. let us consider some of the ways in which the concept of emotion in general and the concept of happiness in particular can be said to be embodied. 2007). and cognitive models? To be able to answer the question. in contrast. We say “I’m glad you came. You may exhibit some milder responses like brightness of the eyes and smiling. The most obvious way in which the concepts of emotion and happiness are embodied comes from the metonymies discussed in this chapter. To illustrate. people do not produce highly visible responses and do not have to control themselves. Embodiment and the Embodiment of Emotions Why do we conceptualize the emotions in these particular ways—by means of such metaphors. You may also experience some milder physiological responses like body warmth and increased heart rate. to the extent that such . We can represent this form of happiness in the following way: Cause of joy You want to achieve something. This is one form of embodiment as it relates to the abstract concept of amount. or. This form of happiness is extremely common.116 METAPHOR positive outcome can be taken to be a matter of course. are they embodied in bodily experience? In chapter 6. which yields the metaphor more is up. In such a situation. Cognitive linguists and cognitive scientists who accept an experientialist perspective to the mind would maintain that concepts like quantity are embodied in bodily experience and. Its difficulty derives in part from the fact that it is thought of in various ways (Rohrer. Thus. Embodiment is a difficult concept in cognitive linguistics and cognitive science in general. thus. 3. such as upward orientation and the idea of quantity.” but we are not led to intense emotional responses and we do not have to struggle (for control) with the emotion we feel. I argue that many of our conceptual metaphors are based on correlations in bodily experience between a sensorimotor and a subjective experience. This causes you to have an immediate rational response (i. Emotion metonymies indicate bodily responses associated with emotions concepts. It is the very commonness of such a form of happiness that makes it salient and hence prototypical. You achieve it. You may have a positive outlook on the world.. to have positive thoughts). metonymies. we need to consider an important issue in the theory of mind: Are concepts (especially abstract concepts) transcendental and disembodied abstractions. are not disembodied abstractions. Existence of joy You are satisfied.e.

The second is the basis of the idea that certain causes “produce” emotions and that the emotions “produce” certain responses. biological. The two image schemas based on bodily experience are essential to the way we conceptualize the emotions. through the metonymies. These capture the very positive “feeling tone” of our experience of happiness. Next. burden. a part of our concepts of emotion. natural force. the source and target experience are sometimes hardly distinguishable. METAPHORS. The force schema is based on the notion that one forceful entity interacts with another forceful entity (cause with self and emotion with self). intoxicated. Such fusions of emotional experience with nonemotional experience provide a very clear form of embodiment for many emotions. and several others. As another example. Another form of embodiment involves image-schemas. The generic-level conceptual metaphor causes are forces can be thought of as a generalized form of such forces affecting the body. felt experiences of their bodies in action provide part of the fundamental grounding for language and thought. that the emotions are events or states that happen inside the human body as a container. In the case of emotions we have seen two image-schemas that play a very important role in the conceptualization of emotions concepts: the container schema and the force schema. The self is seen as being affected by some cause and the self’s emotion as resulting in particular responses. Given the general nature of the emotional experience (target) and the feeling tone of the source. The experience of being intensely happy “feels” the same as being tickled. biological. consider what we have called the “phenomenological” metaphors of happiness. These different kinds and ways of making emotion concepts embodied can be summarized in the general definition of embodiment provided by Ray Gibbs: People’s subjective. physical force. superior. these forces become part and parcel of our conception of emotions through the mappings between the sources and targets and are themselves rooted either in the correlations or the resemblances between emotional experience and the nonemotional experiences of this kind. Other emotions will have other feeling tones associated with them. and social experiences. Cognition is what occurs when the body engages the physical. natural. AND EMBODIMENT 117 responses are. These source domains represent basic physical. or warm. let us take emotion metaphors such as force in a container. cultural world and must be studied in terms of the dynamical interactions between people . the most important one being that they are seen as moving the body in all sorts of ways or effect changes in body posture and expressive behavior.COGNITIVE MODELS. and social forces have a variety of effects on the human body. For many people the intense feeling of love in a romantic relationship cannot be distinguished from the way they feel when they are drunk. take love viewed as addiction (actually the title of a book about love). emotion concepts are based on our physical experience and can be said to be embodied. natural. As discussed above. The first underlies one of our fundamental ideas about the emotions: namely. Finally. Physical.

the majority of both the right. this definition applies to human language and thought in general. felt experiences” of our bodies in motion make our emotion concepts grounded. seek out the gross and detailed ways that language and thought are inextricably shaped by embodied action. we can suggest that our “subjective.) The subjects were instructed that the cartoon figure likes certain animals and thinks they are good but does not like others and thinks they are bad. 9) Given this definition of embodiment.118 METAPHOR and the environment.” These metaphors seem to be universal. good was left (good is left). the concepts will be embodied ones. . That is. then different bodies should result in different abstract concepts. In other words. The idea is simple: If the particular bodies we have play a role in how we mentally represent abstract concepts and result in particular abstract concepts.and lefthanders performed the task consistently with their handedness: for the righthanders. good was right (good is right). If the body-specificity idea of the embodiment hypothesis is correct. . Casasanto examined the “positive valence is right” and “negative valence is left. whereas left-handed people will place them in the opposite box. A total of 67% of the right-handed participants put the good animals in the right-hand box and 74% of the left-handed ones in the box on the left of the cartoon character. On this view. (The experimental design was actually more complicated. (2006. As Casasanto suggests. To the extent that the metonymies and metaphors discussed here play a role in shaping emotions concepts. In one experiment. then both right. subjects were asked to draw a good animal (representing good things) in either of the boxes placed on the right and left side of a cartoon figure. who perform actions with their right hands more fluently than with their left hands. exemplified in English by such phrases as “He is my righthand man. mental metaphors (corresponding to what cognitive linguists call the good is right and bad is left conceptual metaphors).and left-handers will place the good animals on the right-hand side of the figure because of the linguistic conventions found in languages of the world (where good things are expressed as “right” and bad ones as “left”). This result indicates that we conceptualize . both language and thought are embodied. it is likely that the apparent universality of the association of good things with the right side comes from the predominance of right-handed people worldwide. And if embodiment does not play a role in the mental representation of abstract concepts. then right-handed people will place good animals in the box to the right of the cartoon figure. Human language and thought emerge from recurring patterns of embodied activity that constrain ongoing intelligent behavior[. but I leave out some of the details.” what he calls. whereas for the left-handers. Moreover. felt experience. embodied.] [therefore] we must . concepts in general are not disembodied abstractions but embodied: grounded in subjective. p. A particularly powerful demonstration of the embodiment hypothesis is found in Daniel Casasanto’s recent work (in press) on the mental representation of abstract concepts. or.

(1999) contain some essays on metaphorical aspects of emotion. Which conceptual mechanism are these examples of? .COGNITIVE MODELS. Emotion concepts in general and happiness in particular are embodied. . A collective volume on the verbal communication of emotion is Fussell. related concepts. In addition. and cognitive/cultural models. the scene with that creepy house . Casasanto (in press) presents very convincing evidence for the notion of embodiment. happiness/joy and emotion concepts in general are characterized by what I have called “evaluative” and “phenomenological” metaphors. The evaluative metaphors provide a particular appraisal for happiness. Yu (1998) and Lascaratou (2007) are substantial contributions to the cognitive linguistic study of emotions. The embodiment hypothesis extends to other abstract concepts and language and thought in general. Rohrer (2007) provides a useful summary of the varied conceptions of embodiment. AND EMBODIMENT 119 abstract concepts in body-specific ways. It is the cognitive/cultural models that can be thought of as cognitive representations of the concept. 2000a. I almost had a heart attack . The embodiment hypothesis was thus confirmed. FURTHER READING Kövecses’s work on the metaphoric and metonymic structure of emotion concepts includes Kövecses (1986. SUMMARY In this chapter. and happiness as being glad. The authoritative study on embodiment is Gibbs (2006). (2002). He describes the concept of happiness in Kövecses (1991a). Maalej (2004) draws attention to the cultural basis of anger in Tunisian Arabic. happiness as a value. . The following expressions were used as two friends talked about watching a horror movie. I could feel my skin crawl. Three of these have been identified for happiness/joy: happiness as an immediate response. conceptual metonymies. 1990. Their embodiment takes a variety of different forms. as an increasing body of recent experimental work seems to indicate. . I suggest that the conceptual structure of emotions can be usefully described in terms of four cognitive components: conceptual metaphors.). . . that really made my hair stand on end . 1988.. . . Palmer and Occi. eds. We have seen that the concept of happiness/joy shares a number of forcedynamic metaphorical source domains with emotion concepts in general. that gave me goose bumps . METAPHORS. while the phenomenological metaphors describe its phenomenological character. Kövecses (2008b) is a summary and update of his research. (a) Take a look at the parts in italics. ed. EXERCISES 1. .

as outlined in the chapter. (a) Which conceptual metaphors and metonymies are present in the song? (b) See how the conceptual metaphors work together with the conceptual metonymies to create the abstract concept of love. Roxy Music’s “Love Is the Drug” or Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire”). 3. 2. and compare this concept with the general structure of emotion concepts. try to account for the use of these linguistic expressions. see how these work together to create an abstract emotion concept. (c) Compare the structure of the emotion concept of love with the general structure of emotion concepts. Choose another love song (for example. The general folk theory of emotion is derived from the generic-level causes are forces conceptual metaphor. .120 METAPHOR (b) Based on what you have learned about embodiment in this chapter. List examples of causation verbs that use this conceptual metaphor. Listen to or read the text of “Fortress around Your Heart” by Sting. 4. This chapter introduced you to the cognitive linguistic theory of emotion concepts based on language. (a) Which source domains are used to talk about the given emotion concept? (b) Carry out the same comparison you did in exercise 3: list the conceptual metaphors and metonymies you find. and find conceptual metaphors of love or another emotion in the lyrics. as outlined in the chapter.

relative to certain aspects of b and a that are involved in the mappings? In other words. containers.1. we have rich knowledge about the source and these constituent elements.9 Metaphorical Entailments o far I have shown that conceptual metaphors consist of a set of mappings between a source and a target. and it is these elements that participate in the mappings. In addition. to what extent do we make use of the rich knowledge about sources and their constituent elements beyond the structure that is defined by the relationships among the basic constituent elements? As we saw in the discussion of the various metaphors for argument and love in chapter 8. war. or is it used for the purposes of metaphorical comprehension? We saw an answer to this question in chapter 7. this knowledge is not involved in the mappings between the basic constituents. Given the extensive everyday knowledge we have about concrete source domains and their elements. and so on and their constituents. Certain aspects of the source and those of the target are brought into correspondence with each other in such a way that constituent elements of the source correspond to constituent elements of the target. where the distinction between primary and complex metaphors was discussed. We have a great deal of additional knowledge about these sources and their constituent elements. before I discuss this.” However. we know a lot about buildings. certain aspects of a source domain are utilized in understanding the targets. I need to clarify S 121 . we have the picture in figure 9. As noted. The aspects of the source are constituted by a small number of elements. This extensive knowledge reflects our detailed and everyday understanding of the world. nutrients. In other words. how much and what knowledge is carried over from source b to target a. The question is the following: Is the additional rich knowledge about the (constituent or nonconstituent) elements of a source domain completely ignored. In this chapter we look at another proposal that attempts to answer the same question: the “invariance hypothesis. journeys.

namely. claiming that the conservatives have produced some war heroes or outstanding and devoted political leaders. one . thus. This is exactly what happened in the 1990s in a particular conceptualization of American politics. Metaphorical entailments are a common property of conceptual metaphors. we call it metaphorical entailment to distinguish it from most of the mappings we have seen so far. We mentioned the metaphor an argument is a journey in chapter 8. That is.” 1. and rich knowledge about elements.1. This manifests itself in the metaphorical entailment that we can also “digress from” the line of an argument. Rush Limbaugh. We have the constituent element that the journey takes place along a path. the mapping “war heroes correspond to outstanding political leaders” is not a constituent mapping in the metaphor. Metaphorical Entailments When rich additional knowledge about a source is mapped onto a target. The examination of conceptual metaphors shows that many metaphors do map additional knowledge from the source onto the target. In this case. another theoretically important notion in the cognitive view of metaphor: that of “metaphorical entailments. aspects of source.122 METAPHOR Figure 9. Let me illustrate this with some examples. we use an additional piece of knowledge about journeys to make sense of a possible feature of arguments. The relationship among source domain. a nonconstituent element of the concept of journey in this metaphor is that we can “stray from the path” of our journey. Next. as it turns out. in his book The Way Things Ought to Be. (Incidentally. It is not a constituent element of the domain of war that wars often “produce” war heroes. (1996). as analyzed by Adamson et al. we also have some additional knowledge about journeys. The path corresponds to the progress of an argument. elements of aspects. Yet. uses the concept of war heroes in his interpretation of the contemporary American political scene. However. this (nonconstituent) element of the concept of war may be used for understanding politics. consider the metaphor politics is war referred to in chapter 2. that we can stray from the path.

the exploitation of a source’s metaphorical entailment potential is almost complete. Here I examine two such cases. the metaphorical entailments characterize a set of related target concepts. This activation yields a metaphorical entailment of the politics is war metaphor. too. In this sense. I hope. conversations like this are not at all infrequent in everyday life. in the second case. the activation of various metaphorical entailments of a conceptual metaphor can govern or structure a part or the whole of a conversation. a completely conventional conceptual metaphor is introduced: people are plants (fruits). The following short conversation took place in Hungarian (a rough English translation is given): t e ache r aut hor t e ache r You look like a healthy apple. One simple but clear example of this happened when the author met by accident a former phys ed teacher of his in a popular exercise center in Budapest. a conceptual metaphor is introduced into the conversation. only one or just a few entailments of a metaphor have been exploited. then. The Full Exploitation of Metaphorical Entailments In the cases discussed above. picks up another piece of knowledge concerning apples. 2. The first speaker.METAPHORICAL ENTAILMENTS 123 of these is Rush Limbaugh himself.” In this case. the metaphorical entailments of a source are carried over fully to a single target concept.” a property of the fruit—the piece of knowledge that an apple may be rotten inside although healthy-looking outside—is picked up by the second speaker and carried over. Although this is a creative conversation. when he expresses his hope that the apple will “last a long time. Given the mapping “an apple corresponds to a person. In it. In the first case. that it will last a long time.1.) In other words. 2. I hope it’s not rotten inside. Limbaugh activates the additional mapping that obtains between war heroes and outstanding political leaders in his particular conception of American politics. Metaphorical entailments can also structure entire conversations. however. and the participants carry on the conversation by picking out distinct pieces of knowledge associated with the source domain of this metaphor. Anger Is a Hot Fluid in a Container Consider first a well-known metaphor for anger in English: anger is a hot fluid in a container. In some other cases. The constituent mappings of this metaphor are as follows: the physical container Þ the angry person’s body the top of the container Þ the rational self of the angry person .

My anger kept building up inside me. Pretty soon I was in a towering rage. the fluid rises His pent-up anger welled up inside him. intense anger produces pressure on the container He was bursting with anger. we know that the fluid will come out of the container as a result of the explosion. we know that the fluid and the steam exert pressure on the walls of the container. This knowledge is completely coherent. the level of the fluid in the container rises. We know that as the heat of the fluid increases. I was fuming. In other words. Among these are the following. She could feel her gorge rising. we can assume that people often actually think in terms of this entailment potential. which is to say that we possess a great amount of rich knowledge concerning this particular source. we know that the pieces of the container will go flying all over the place. We can take linguistic usage to be evidence for the exploitation of this potential. Given our nonscientific or folk understanding of the behavior of hot fluids in closed containers. we know that this might be dangerous to people nearby. and so on. we know that the heat produces steam. if we find conventionalized linguistic expressions that indicate any of the preceding metaphorical entailments in talk about anger. We got a rise out of him. the pieces of knowledge in the description fit together in a structured way. Even in this capacity. The metaphorical entailments that follow show that all the entailment potential given above is exploited by the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor: when the intensity of anger increases. Billy’s just blowing off steam. we know many things about the behavior of hot fluids in closed containers. where pieces of knowledge were more or less unsystematically selected and carried over to the target. This feature of the knowledge distinguishes it from the cases discussed above. Now let us see what exactly is carried over to the concept of anger from the metaphorical entailment potential of the source.124 METAPHOR the hot fluid inside the container Þ the anger the degree of fluid heat Þ the intensity of anger the cause of increase in fluid heat Þ the cause of anger What we should do now is to see how much of the entailment potential of the source () is carried over to the target of anger. . we know that beyond a certain limit the walls will burst as a result of too much pressure. ordinary people who do not know much about the science of physics. Let us begin by playing at being “naive” physicists: that is. intense anger produces steam She got all steamed up.

Bombs: That really set me off. This can be elaborated. using special cases: Pistons: He blew a gasket. In the last couple of examples. A variant of this involves: the angry person tries to keep the pressure back I suppressed my anger. Now recall that one of the constituent mappings for the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor was that the heat of the fluid corresponds to anger. I went through the roof. Electricity: I blew a fuse. However. what was inside him/her comes out His anger finally came out. he just exploded. My mother will have a cow when I tell her. the baby animals that come out of the grown female animal correspond to anger.METAPHORICAL ENTAILMENTS 125 I could barely contain my rage. This can be elaborated by using a special case: animals giving birth She was having kittens. parts of him/her go up in the air I blew my stack. Volcanoes: She erupted. a basic element of the source (heat) is mapped onto a basic element of the target concept of anger (anger itself). when an angry person explodes. Explosives: She’s on a short fuse. He turned his anger inward. there is a great deal of coherent knowledge that is associated with heat and its relationship . She flipped her lid. She blew up at me. He managed to keep his anger bottled up inside him. He hit the ceiling. when anger becomes too intense. when an angry person explodes. In it. I blew my top. We won’t tolerate any of your outbursts. Smoke was pouring out of his ears. I could barely keep it in anymore. the person explodes When I told him.

A more likely way for this learning to take place is that we subjectively experience our bodies as containers. conceivable as complex systems. These are the major foci of the plant metaphor. though. and so on. we also feel pressure when angry. However. or are less easily. As the preceding examples indicate. and so on. however. on the whole. economic and political systems. the full and coherent entailment potential of this source is mapped onto the target of anger. these experiences are assumed to play a crucial role in acquiring conceptual metaphors. In the cognitive view of metaphor. it seems that the source concept of plant applies most naturally and most frequently to domains that we can readily regard as complex systems of some sort. scientific disciplines. sets of ideas. as discussed next. human relationships. that the concept of anger is fully described by this metaphor. This doesn’t mean. this metaphor can also apply to things that are not.2. we experience heat or lack of heat in certain parts of the body. the complex abstract systems are plants metaphor takes several related target concepts. we have the experience of a fluid inside the body. 2. This discussion of the entailment potential of source domains raises an important question for the entire theory: How do young children acquire conceptual metaphors? Do they also have to be “naive” physicists in order to learn conceptual metaphors such as anger is a hot fluid in a container. as was suggested by some critics of the cognitive view of metaphor? Obviously not. Complex Abstract Systems Are Plants Unlike the metaphor just discussed. This gives us justification to set up and use this particular conceptual metaphor. They include social organizations (such as companies). such as careers. That job is performed jointly by this and several other metaphors. including the following: (a) the plant is the complex system (b) parts of the plant are parts of the complex system (c) the biological growth of the plant is the abstract nonbiological development of the complex system . It would be unreasonable to suggest that young children consciously learn conceptual metaphors by constructing coherent folk theories of source domains and applying the entailments of the source to the target. arguments. Nevertheless. people. These are unconscious experiences that we have early on in our lives. The complex abstract systems are plants metaphor is based on a small number of constituent mappings. self-destruction. and others. and all of them can be viewed as complex (abstract) systems. What it does mean. youth.126 METAPHOR to the fluid and the container. is that the potential metaphorical entailments of the source in relation to the target are fully exploited in the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor. This explains why we have chosen to refer to this conceptual metaphor as complex abstract systems are plants.

consequently. This sentence comes from Collins Cobuild English Guides 7: Metaphor (Deignan. Additional rich knowledge concerning plants is utilized to capture these features. they become physically bigger. which results in a smaller size. cutting) They selectively pruned the workforce. The features of complex systems in question in these cases are (1) complex systems becoming physically larger. a specialization in some discipline. The series is based on “the bank of English. Two such pieces of knowledge include the following: when plants grow. in the characterization of the complex abstract systems are plants metaphor below. and. This extensive corpus shows that many of the conceptual metaphors we have are very much alive and used all the time by everyday people. is he branching out into men’s clothing. 21 years since he established his distinctive women’s line. The part of a plant can include several things. whereas sentence (2) is a linguistic manifestation of mappings (a) and (c). in some cases we have a great deal of rich knowledge about the elements in the source. we can use this knowledge in the comprehension of the target. Now it seems that speakers use this additional information in understanding certain features of complex systems. and plants are sometimes cut or pruned. for example. and (2) the reduction of complex systems. which is a dictionary of English metaphors for learners of English as a foreign language. Sentence (1) demonstrates mappings (a) and (b). However. Indeed. most of the metaphorical entailments that derive from the plant metaphor in relation to complex systems have to do with mapping (c) above: biological growth in the source corresponding to some abstract . reducing complex systems is making plants smaller (pruning.METAPHORICAL ENTAILMENTS 127 We can illustrate these mappings with such metaphorical sentences as these: (1) Please turn to the local branch of the organization. (2) She has grown a lot as a scholar lately. 1995). We can represent these metaphorical entailments as submetaphors of complex abstract systems are plants as follows: a complex system becoming larger is a plant growing bigger Only now. As noted earlier. as shown in sentence (3): (3) Laser equipment is expensive but it can be used in many branches of surgery. I rely exclusively on this source of information. Government and educational bureaucracies can and should be ruthlessly pruned.” a huge corpus of everyday English.

The seeds of the future lie in the present. problems that can lead to depression and even illness can be nipped in the bud. Our budding romance was over.200. shopping malls sprout like concrete mushrooms. to maintain or take care of a complex system is to cultivate a plant He always cultivated friendships with the ruling class.128 METAPHOR development in the target. . future events are the future growth of a plant He considered that there were. potential or sources of future events are seeds. the quick development of a large number of things is the quick growth of a large number of shoots or leaves Concrete hotels and tourist villages are sprouting along the desert shore. Across the land. to start or create a complex system is to sow a seed He had the skill to plant the seed in Jennifer’s mind that her problem was not so important. a huge amount of detailed knowledge is carried over from plants to complex systems relative to this mapping. In this way. the seeds of a new moral order. The controversy stems from an interview given by the mayor to Reuters news agency. . He also carries within him a seed of self-destruction. . Malcolm X had sown the seeds of a new consciousness amongst African-Americans. debate that sowed the seeds of the welfare state. The beginning of an idea took root in Rosemary’s mind. in these developments. Jealousy has its roots in unhealthy patterns of developments. Now they have signed agreements that lay the ground for a huge growth in trade and cooperation. . the initial stages of development are the beginnings of growth Typically the first green shoots of recovery herald an increase in bankruptcy. They are fighting deep-rooted social and cultural traditions. Another equally outstanding design was germinating at Bristol. As noted later. By the time of his tragic murder in 1965. The number of managers mushroomed from 700 to 13. origins or causes leading to effects are parts of plants from which other parts grow A good therapist will try to find the root of the problem. Here are the ones that stand out in Collins Cobuild English Guides 7: Metaphor: preparing the development of a complex system is preparing the growth of a plant The work will prepare the ground for future development.

his smile wilting. a plan to reprint the play never came to fruition. Apparently. the unsuccessful or inappropriate development of a complex system is the unhealthy growth of a plant They had been innocent sweethearts at a German university but their romance withered when they came back to England. the nation that had briefly flowered after 1918. . Unfortunately. His career is flourishing again. Tony looked at Momma. . The plans finally reached fruition. the best stage in the progress or development of something is the flowering of a plant The relationship blossomed. . the complex abstract systems are plants metaphor utilizes most of the metaphorical entailment potential associated with the concept of plant. This is everyday knowledge that we as ordinary people (as opposed to experts such as biologists) have about plants. . a blossoming. the beneficial consequences of a process are the fruits or the crop of a plant Now they’ve finished will they sit back and enjoy the fruit of their labors? American and Japanese firms are better at using the fruits of scientific research. then. He began to reap the harvest of his sound training. Their campaign seems to be bearing fruit. the ruins of a once flourishing civilization. . . They remembered her as she’d been in the flower of their friendship. the forced development of a complex system is the forced growth of a plant The school has always had a hothouse atmosphere. . You have the capacity to bring your ideas to fruition. . The vast amount of rich knowledge focuses on one basic constituent mapping of the metaphor. They decided to live together the following year. the successful or appropriate development of a complex system is the healthy growth of a plant Exports flourished. earning Taiwan huge foreign currency reserves. . Employers reaped enormous benefits from cheap foreign labor. biological growth of plants corresponds to the (abstract) progress or development of complex systems. . shrink away.METAPHORICAL ENTAILMENTS 129 This will make it more difficult to weed out people unsuitable for the profession. The sympathy made something in him shrivel. diverse economy. This elaborate knowledge about the growth of plants structures much of our knowledge about the “developmental” aspects of complex systems. the mapping according to which the natural. I could see her happiness withering.

in (b). you will have the thing applies to (a) but does . you have it. Now this could be a metaphorical entailment when we apply the causation is transfer metaphor to produce (a) and (b). But this does not seem to be the case.” Despite this similarity in interpretation. (b) She gave him a kiss. while (b′) does not. But what of cases where potential entailments are not metaphorically mapped from b to a? In those cases. If the entailment is carried over. we can paraphrase the sentences as “She caused him to experience a kiss / a headache. In both cases. on the other. then. there is a difference in the metaphorical entailments that the sentences use. In both sentences. and he still has it. (b′) *She gave him a kiss. while “he” is the experiencer of an event and a state. causation is expressed by the verb “give” (a form of transfer). Thus. and that of anger. “she” functions as the “cause” of the headache and the kiss. and he still has it.130 METAPHOR 3. the question arises: Why isn’t everything carried over from b to a? What determines what is not carried over? Let us take some examples where the mapping of entailments is blocked. Consider. sentences such as: (a) She gave him a headache. These sentences are based on the metaphor causation is transfer (of an object) and can be explained with reference to such nonmetaphorical sentences as (c): (c) She gave him a book. a headache is a state. the kiss is an event. that the perfectly normal entailment in the source domain that if I give you something. This literal case entails certain things. In (c). Why is it that one can be legitimately said to have the headache after it was given. The Invariance Principle In the preceding section. one of them being that if I give you a book. as shown by (a′) and (b′): (a′) She gave him a headache. then we should be able to think and say that the “he” in both (a) and (b) has the metaphorical objects (the headache and the kiss) after they have been metaphorically handed over. first. Why is it. Example (a′) makes use of the potential metaphorical entailment that you have what has been given to you. I discuss cases where our everyday knowledge about plants and pressurized containers is fully exploited in comprehending the concept of complex systems. the transfer (giving) of an object (book) takes place from a giver (she) to a recipient (he). on the one hand. whereas one cannot be said to have the kiss after it was given? In (a).

it can be suggested that the schematic or skeletal structure. The choice was made in the target domain of life. are momentary. In this latter case. However. the fixity of the road in the source is not mapped onto the target. the entailment of the source (you have the object that was given to you) will not apply. The principle is called the “invariance principle” because the conceptual material that is mapped from the source preserves its basic structure in the mapping. If we choose to go and see a certain movie at eight o’clock. Once we have made a decision. scholars have proposed the invariance principle (or hypothesis). and (2) the part that says what cannot and why. In the source domain. the invariance principle consists of two parts: (1) the part that says what can be mapped from the source.METAPHORICAL ENTAILMENTS 131 not apply to (b)? The answer is that kissing is an event and a headache is a state. Longterm states like having a thing after getting it cannot be imposed on momentary events like the experience of a kiss. the same problem does not arise with headaches whose skeletal structure matches the metaphorical entailment of the source. I can change my mind and walk back and go the other way in the fork. of the target event rejects or overrides the entailment that arises from the source. or shape. Take life is a journey. the generic structure of events is such that it prevents the mapping of some knowledge from the source domain of transferring things to the target domain of causation. When this basic structure of the source conflicts with that of the target. map as much knowledge from the source onto the target as is coherent with the image-schematic properties of the target. it is invariant. It may be useful at this point to consider another example. In this metaphor. But . Imagine that you come to a fork in the road and you start to walk in one direction. which have different “shapes. we have transfer of an object. we cannot go and see another movie at the same time. if however. In the target domain. many choices in life are not like this.e. The schematic structure of events (i. Alternative routes in the source correspond to choices in the target. In contrast. the invariance principle blocks the mapping of knowledge that is not coherent with the schematic or skeletal structure of the target concept. This states: Given the aspect(s) that participate in a metaphorical mapping. the target experience is a momentary event. and there is no possibility of “backtracking” and undoing what we have done. For example.. given the causation is transfer metaphor.” Events do not last in time. Thus. To handle cases such as this. we have causation of an experience. in the source domain. we get cases of incoherence between the two domains. while states last for some time. Thus. the entailment of the source (you have the object that was given to you) will apply. If the target experience that is caused is a state. that they are momentary) does not accept an entailment from the source that contradicts this schematic structure. we cannot “go back” and do the other thing.

The question arises: Given the metaphorical entailment potential of a source domain. Thus. we have cases of metaphorical entailment. theories could have a window. We call this everyday knowledge a “folk theory” or “folk understanding” of a domain. The entailment potential of sources may be more or less fully utilized. this feature of the source is prevented from being mapped onto the target. and what is left out of the mapping? The answer is provided by the invariance principle. As Joseph Grady and his colleagues (1996) point out. the road is preserved as I walk along it. there is no logical contradiction between a building having a window and a theory having a window. and I cannot undo what I previously chose to do. it was suggested that the invariance hypothesis does not solve all the problems of “illegitimate transfer” from the source to the target. this utilization can be practically complete. We have a great deal of everyday knowledge about these elements.132 METAPHOR this is precisely what we can do in the source domain of a journey. While it correctly handles metaphorical cases like giving someone a kiss or an idea (as opposed to the literal case of giving someone a book). But in the target of life. just as much as they have a framework. The invariance hypothesis does not offer a solution to this and many similar cases. This is why I can change my mind and backtrack and go the other way. In some cases. as noted in chapter 7. it can potentially map extensive everyday knowledge onto the target. The alternative solution. Only certain aspects of sources are utilized for this purpose. The reason is that the generic-level structure of the target domain of life is such that the mapping would import conflicting material from the source. the invariance principle would be violated. often the “road” is destroyed after I have made a choice. We have seen two such cases: the anger is a hot fluid in a container and complex abstract systems are plants metaphors. However. how much of it is actually mapped onto the target. The various aspects of concepts consist of conceptual elements. the former is not. Each source concept has a metaphorical entailment potential. is the one based on the notion of primary metaphor. SUMMARY Source domains are used to understand target domains. which says that only those portions of the source can be mapped that do not conflict with the schematic structure of the target. FURTHER READING Metaphorical entailments were first treated in Lakoff and Johnson (1980). Lakoff and Kövecses (1987) introduce the idea that metaphorical entailments are based on coherent folk theories associated with some domains. In the source domain of a journey. But while the latter is metaphorically acceptable. that is. it cannot handle many other metaphorical cases. They show this in detail in . When this rich knowledge about elements is mapped onto target domains. As a consequence.

1997). Now let us take another causation metaphor: causation is progeneration (Turner 1987). invited a world-famous actress for the usual Friday night talk-show and called the event “no make-up tonight. Johnson. eds. his smile withering. Gibbs (1994) and Allbritton (1995) show experimentally that texts are often made coherent by the conceptual metaphors that underlie them.g. Ibarretxe-Antunano (1999). Too bad I won’t see his ideas in full bloom. respectively). The invariance hypothesis was first sketchily introduced by Lakoff and Turner (1989). 1996). Listen to the songs by the Beatles titled (a) “Here We Go Again” and (b) “(Forgive Me) My Little Flower Princess. Rudzka-Ostyn (1995). . 3. EXERCISES 1. 1991a) works out several of the metaphorical entailments for some of the source domains of the concept of love.” Which metaphors do they evoke? What kind of entailments are mapped onto the targets? 2. It was refined. identify the target domains and name possible entailments. He held his ground. 2005a. and Feyaerts (2000) are all attempts to refine the invariance principle. Palmer (1996) looks at the issue from an anthropological perspective. analyze these examples. Look at the following metaphorical expressions. Turner (1990. Ponterotto (2000) is a detailed study of the role of conceptual metaphor in discourse and conversation.. Ortony (1988) offers a criticism of Kövecses (1986) and the cognitive view of metaphor in general.” although in both cases there is an individual who “causes an effect” (the atomic bomb and the ball in the basket. We are dealing with a deep-rooted problem. Based on what you’ve learned in this chapter. The issue of the acquisition of metaphors is discussed by Johnson (e. We have seen in the chapter how the source domain of the causation is transfer metaphor is only partially mapped onto the target. 1993).METAPHORICAL ENTAILMENTS 133 their study of anger. The notion of folk theory is discussed in Holland and Quinn. (1987). 1988. Explain why it is possible to say that “Edward Teller was the father of the atomic bomb” but not that “Michael Jordan was the father of a beautiful slam-dunk in the last second of the game. and Brugman (1990). which all utilize the source domain of plants. This hotel. Grady et al.” Which conceptual metaphor do you think motivated calling the program “no make-up tonight”? Identify the underlying conceptual metaphor and describe any possible entailments. Imagine a hotel that offers different programs for each evening. The local branch of the company opened new offices. 1993. Özçalıskan (2003. critically assessed. C. Kövecses (1986. in order to please its guests. 4. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) The idea slowly took root in her mind. and modified by Lakoff (1990. (1996) offer an alternative solution to the kinds of problems that the invariance hypothesis was proposed to solve. 2005b) did extensive research on ¸ the acquisition of motion-related time metaphors in children.

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life. which is characterized by means of metaphors such as the following: happiness happiness happiness happiness happiness happiness happiness happiness is is is is is is is is up: We had to cheer him up. an opponent: She was overcome by joy. and many more. These abstract target domains include time. anger. an argument is a container: Your argument has a lot of content. as noted in chapter 2. religion. a rapture: It was a delirious feeling. mind. Similarly. 135 . vitality: That put some life into them. insanity: They were crazy with happiness. theories. the concept of argument is understood in terms of metaphors such as: T an argument is a journey: We will proceed in a step-by-step fashion. a fluid in a container: The sight filled them with joy. society. For example. a natural force: We were carried away with happiness. love. morality. an argument is a building: She constructed a solid argument. This was shown in detail for the concept of happiness. communication.10 The Scope of Metaphor hroughout this book I show cases in which a target domain is characterized by a number of source domains. she lit up. fear. light: When she heard the news. it is pointed out in chapter 7 that there is a good reason why a single target concept is understood via several source concepts: one source just cannot do the job because our concepts have a number of distinct aspects to them and the metaphors address these distinct aspects. Furthermore. ideas. many other abstract concepts have been shown to be characterized by a large number of distinct source domains. an argument is war: I couldn’t defend that point. politics.

Her career was in ruins. the advance that laid the foundations for modern science. where it is the case that a single source characterizes a number of targets. You can help lay the foundations for a good relationship between your children by preparing your older child in advance for the new baby. . because they are the foundations on which the second half will be built. . however. My faith was rocked to its foundations. Our view. a company is a building Ten years ago. he and a partner set up on their own and built up a successful fashion company. is that a single source concept can characterize many distinct target domains. McCarthy demolishes the romantic myth of the Wild West. as it applies to several targets. it can’t afford to involve itself in military action. most of the specific source domains appear to characterize not just one target concept but several. the concept of war applies not only to argument but also to love. The following examples are based on Collins Cobuild’s English Guide 7: Metaphor: theories are buildings Increasingly. and so on. Don’t be tempted to skip the first sections of your programme. economic systems are buildings With its economy in ruins. To throw some light on this issue and to see why it is important. The second half of the chapter builds on previous discussion of change and differentiation in home ownership. For instance. the target domains—to which a given source concept applies. the concept of fire not only to love but also to anger. relationships are buildings Since then the two have built a solid relationship. By the scope of metaphor I simply mean the range of cases—that is. She lay back for a few moments contemplating the ruins of her idealism and her innocence. careers are buildings Government grants have enabled a number of the top names in British sport to build a successful career. This raises an interesting empirical and theoretical question: How many and what kind of target domains does a single source concept apply to? I will call this issue the question of the scope of metaphor. . scientific knowledge is constructed by small numbers of specialized workers. is that these claims are entirely without foundation. it seems best to go through a number of examples. Consider the source domain of buildings again.136 METAPHOR 1. the concept of building not only to theories but also to societies. . he said. As a matter of fact. The Scope of Metaphor What has been less often observed.

Complex systems. We now have an excellent foundation on which to build.) is that they are all concerned with certain specific features of complex systems: namely. etc. relationships are buildings. A diagram might be helpful to illustrate this (figure 10. the author of the Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary. careers. Most of the metaphorical expressions capture these three interrelated features of complex systems—their creation. . the source domain of buildings applies to a variety of targets. and life all appear to be complex abstract systems—a concept that was introduced in chapter 9. social groups are buildings He’s about to rock the foundations of the literary establishment with his novel. economic systems. companies. The target domains of theories. These are just some of the examples that were found by Alice Deignan. The Main Meaning Focus of a Conceptual Metaphor The common thread that runs through these conceptual metaphors (theories are buildings. one can build both a life and a social group with a structure. relationships. we will see in chapter 11 that this is not the only source that can apply to them. As these cases indicate. a life is a building Now another young woman’s life is in ruins after an appalling attack. both a company and a career can be said to have a solid foundation. Thus.1. In real life.THE SCOPE OF METAPHOR 137 There is no painless way to get inflation down. the creation of a strong and stable structure for a complex system. However. a relationship can be in ruins. their structure. these target domains can all be structured by the source domain of building. 2. and the stability of Figure 10. in the Bank of English.1). social groups. and so on. We can generalize this observation by suggesting that the overarching metaphor that includes all these cases is complex systems are buildings. By early afternoon queues were already building up. As the preceding examples indicate. the whole range of “building terms” can apply to these target domains.

it is likely to collapse. rock the foundation. the main meaning focus represents some basic knowledge concerning a source that is widely shared in the speech community. but it is still so shaky that it will easily fall apart under criticism. . lay the foundation in the preceding examples. This is clear from the preponderance of such expressions as build. so to speak. construct. The target inherits the main meaning focus (or foci) of the source. strong foundation. without foundation. and creation of an argument. if the framework or structure is not solid or does not have a strong groundwork and foundation (or both). the framework or structure stands above the ground. that can be found in most instances of the source. What determines the main meaning orientation of a given source-target pairing. Thus. the main meaning focus is the creation of a stable structure for a complex system. and it is knowledge that is most typical of buildings (but not of other things). This knowledge is basic and central about buildings. such as complex systems are buildings? I suggest that each source domain is designated to play a specific role in characterizing a range of targets to which it applies. In the case of the complex systems-as-buildings metaphor. it is typical of most cases of the source. Most of these examples have to do with the strength. and that uniquely characterizes the source. solid. the whole thing will collapse. These are also the mappings that predominate in Lakoff and Johnson’s (1980) metaphor an argument (or a theory) is a building: an argument is a building We’ve got the framework for a solid argument. a major theme.138 METAPHOR their structure. If you don’t support your argument with solid facts. in ruins. With the groundwork you’ve got. buildings have a groundwork and foundation on which a framework or structure is built. you can construct a pretty strong argument. it is characteristic of many instances of buildings. What this statement says is that a source domain contributes not randomly selected but predetermined conceptual materials agreed on by a community of speakers to the range of target domains to which it applies. He is trying to buttress his argument with a lot of irrelevant facts. Let us take an example. Most people within a speech community possess it. I will say that these conceptual metaphors have a main meaning focus. structure. This role can be stated as follows: Each source is associated with a particular meaning focus (or foci) that is (or are) mapped onto the target. This meaning focus is conventionally fixed and agreed-on within a speech community. Typically. and it is characteristic of the source only.

This same point was made in connection with the concept of happiness in chapter 8. stability. For example. such as argument. the mappings that constitute this metaphor are as follows: complex systems are buildings (a) foundation Þ basis that supports the entire system (b) framework Þ overall structure of the elements that make up the system (c) additional elements to Þ additional elements to support the support the framework structure of the system (d) design Þ logical structure of the system (e) architect Þ maker/builder of the system (f) process of building Þ process of constructing the system (g) strength Þ lastingness/stability of the system (h) collapse Þ failure of the system It should be pointed out here that in many cases one cannot avoid using metaphorical words (concepts) in the characterization of targets. and abstract stability/lastingness is physical strength of the structure to stand. Given the linguistic examples. support. and social and economic systems.THE SCOPE OF METAPHOR 139 3. Central Mappings Let us now see how this central knowledge is captured in the mappings that characterize the complex systems are buildings metaphor. and structure are all metaphorical in relation to abstract targets. We can capture the main meaning focus with the help of the following mappings: (1) building (2) physical structure (3) physical strength (of the structure to stand) Þ creation or construction of the system (from mappings e and f) Þ abstract structure (from mappings a through d) Þ abstract stability/lastingness (from mappings g and h) These mappings can of course be recast as metaphors: creation/construction of an abstract system is (the process of) building. The eight mappings above can be reduced to three without any loss of information concerning the main meaning focus of the complex systems are buildings metaphor. To recapitulate. What we get are primary metaphors—in the sense that Joe Grady uses the term. mind. as discussed in chapter 7. he used the primary metaphors organization is physical structure (corresponding to (2) above) and persistence is remaining erect (corresponding to (3) . basis. abstract structure of a complex system is physical structure. This shows that abstract targets such as these cannot be conceived in other than metaphorical ways.

on this view. 4. and stability/lastingness is strength (of the physical structure to stand). central mappings reflect major human concerns relative to the source in question. they cannot carry over anything else. these are construction is building.140 METAPHOR above). These metaphors. It is given or predetermined conceptual material in most sources (such as building or plant). of complex systems are buildings. In the complex systems are buildings metaphor. (c) motivationally. Most of the metaphorical linguistic expressions dominating that metaphor are related to a mapping of this metaphor “physical growth Þ abstract development or progress of a complex system” in one way or another. The Case of Fire Now let us see in another example how the three theoretical concepts developed above—scope of metaphor.. 2. or submetaphors. Technically. and central mapping(s) provide yet another answer to the question: What is and what is not mapped from the source to the target? Source domains are. they also apply (at least potentially) to all or most of the complex abstract systems as explained above. central mappings lead to the emergence of other mappings. (d) linguistically. In Grady’s terminology. this process takes place by means of a small number of mappings (i. and central mapping— .e. What was added in this reanalysis is creation/construction of an abstract system is building (corresponding to (1) above). The notions of the scope of metaphor. This last property of central mappings was especially clear in the case of another complex systems metaphor that is discussed in chapter 9: complex abstract systems are plants. The main meaning focus that is associated with a source can be seen from the metaphorical linguistic expressions that dominate a metaphor. those in a through h above) can be derived. Since the main socially agreed-on meaning focus of the concept of building as a source is the making of a strong structure or framework.e. abstract structure is physical structure. either constituent basic mappings or metaphorical entailments. main meaning focus. and abstract stability is physical strength (of structure to stand) metaphors are mappings. and 3 above) from which all other mappings (i. Characteristic of central mappings are the following: (a) conceptually. this will be mapped onto the target. characterized by a particular meaning focus (or foci). (b) culturally. those in 1.. abstract structure is physical structure. they are the mappings that are most motivated experientially— either culturally or physically. As just noted. the creation is building. It is this given or predetermined meaning focus attaching to a source that gets carried over to the target domains that are within the scope of this source. main meaning focus. do not only apply to arguments or theories. however. they give rise to metaphorical expressions that dominate a metaphor. the three primary metaphors are thus generalizations of the constituent mappings in (a) through (h). Let us call generalized mappings from which other mappings derive central mappings. The central mappings carry over this conceptual material—and only this.

. Other examples reflect the many metaphorical entailments that are mapped from this source to the target of emotion: the highest degree of emotional intensity is the highest degree of fire He got to his feet and his dark eyes were blazing with anger. We can generalize this by assuming the metaphor emotion is heat (of fire). Here’s a list of fire-related metaphors for these and other emotions (the emotions involved are indicated in square brackets): emotion is heat (of fire) Behind his soft-spoken manner. [relationship-love] As a child I had a real hot temper. . [anger] The emotion concepts of anger. ambition can all take heat-fire as their source domain. the burning desire to break free and express himself on his own terms. burning with resentment. [curiosity-desire] He gave his son a look of burning anger. [love] . [ambitiondesire] Forstmann was a deeply angry man. [resentment-anger] The young boy was burning with a fierce emotion. such as anger. For most people. It was a fiery relationship. desire. [indignationanger] As a boy my burning ambition was to become either a priest or a family doctor. the particular linguistic examples that demonstrate the application of fire as a source domain to a variety of targets are taken from Collins Cobuild English Guides 7: Metaphor. . To do this. [emotion] The lady was ten years his senior. fueling the flames of hatred. desire. hope still flickered in our hearts. love. the related concepts of fire and heat are primarily associated with the metaphorical comprehension of emotions. let us take the concept of fire. [hope] . [hatred] controlling the intensity of the emotion is controlling the fire He’ll have to keep his fiery temper under control. [emotion] Dan burned to know what the reason could be. [anger] He was blazing with rage. [ambition-desire] . [desire] Marianne and I are both fiery people. and so on. keeping the flames of love alive. curiosity. love. [anger] low intensity of emotion is a small amount of fire Though we knew our army had been defeated.THE SCOPE OF METAPHOR 141 operate jointly. the fires of ambition burned. . Again. [anger] The trial left him with a burning sense of injustice. [anger] maintaining the intensity of the emotion is maintaining the fire . . . which is a common source domain for many target concepts.

[anger] lack of intensity is lack of heat “Look here. Bush. [anger] It wasn’t like Alex to flare up over something he had said about her looks. You ought to let yourself cool off for a few days. [anger] Baxter smouldered as he drove home for lunch. [passion-emotion] By drawing attention to the political and social situation of their communities. [anger] Melanie Griffith seems to smoulder with sexuality. [pressure-event] Behind the next door a more heated discussion was taking place. [anger] You should each make your own lives. see if there’s a possibility of friendship. Most of the entailments center around this particular aspect of the emotion concepts involved. the main meaning focus of the metaphor is emotional intensity. [hope] a sudden increase in emotion intensity is a sudden increase in the intensity of fire Tempers flared and harsh words were exchanged.” [anger] As these entailments show. without heat. But some spark has gone out of him at college. “all I did was to walk down a street and sit down. and when emotions have cooled. [humor-joy] latent intensity is potential open fire There is a smouldering anger in the black community throughout the country. [enthusiasm] Her eyes were like her mother’s but lacked the spark of humor and the warmth. But the heat-fire source is not limited to the emotions since the scope of the metaphorical source of heat-fire extends well beyond the emotions.” I said. [argument] You need to perform well when the heat is on. they sparked off a renewed interest in Aboriginal culture. [sexuality-lust] decrease in intensity is a decrease in the degree of heat Tempers have cooled down a bit and I hope we could sort things out between us. [interest] maintaining motivation at a high intensity is maintaining an intense fire Jimmy was so enthusiastic and motivated when he was in high school. Consider these additional examples: They directed the full heat of their rhetoric against Mr. that’s all. [emotion] You’re angry.142 METAPHOR For the first time she felt a tiny spark of hope. [argument] . Wade. [anger] causation is lighting an object Nicholas travelled to India which helped spark his passion for people and paintings.

In general. [scandal-conflict] I think that the Scottish problem might cool off. [problem-conflict] The hope must be that the economy has cooled sufficiently to relieve inflationary pressures. [agility in action] controlling the situation is controlling the heat This proved insufficient to dampen the fires of controversy. [glory-state] As soon as he walked in there was a blazing row. [political movement-activity] The battle for the Formula One Championship hotted up. events. [conflict] An interesting detail might spark off an idea. [rebellion-conflict] He has been advised to take a long family holiday to take the heat off the scandal. [argument] maintaining intensity is maintaining heat (of fire) The fact is that the very lack of evidence seems to fan the flames of suspicion. [thought] motivation to do something intensely is an internal cause of heat (fire) He said they were looking for someone with a bit of spark as the new technical director. [argument] The strike was sparked by a demand for higher pay.THE SCOPE OF METAPHOR 143 As can be seen. It also applies to states of various kinds. we can claim that the source domain has as its scope any intense situation (actions. [imagination] She has failed to ignite what could have been a lively debate. the movement for democracy began to heat up. The following examples arranged as metaphorical entailments amply illustrate this: the highest degree of intensity is the highest degree of heat (fire) His eyes blazed intently into mine. [argument] In a clear bid to take the heat out of the rebellion. [suspicion-thought] . [looking-action] The president launched his anti-drugs campaign in a blaze of publicity. [battle-conflict] The debate is hotting up in Germany on the timing of elections. in the last couple of years. [economic activity] The metaphor causation is lighting can be given as: cause of a situation is cause of heat (fire) Many commentators believe that his resignation speech ignited the leadership battle. [publicity-action] The career that began in a blaze of glory has ended in his forced retirement. [argument] change of intensity is a change in heat Then. he authorised an interest rate cut. states). the fire-heat metaphorical source domain applies to actions (argument) and events (pressure). [conflict] Books can ignite the imagination in a way films can’t.

it is “the heat of the fire Þ the intensity of the situation” mapping that is central. where many linguistic expressions capture this kind of bodily experience associated with intense emotion. This is especially clear in the case of such emotion concepts as anger and love. we ask whether we have a fire that is appropriate for the purpose at hand. [conflict] a sudden increase in intensity is a sudden increase in the degree of heat (fire) Dozens of people were injured as fighting flared up. sudden increase in intensity. a burnt-out business executive. Third. events. Second. [conflict] Dale stayed clear of the disease for six years until it flared up last summer. . that is. we produce body heat. We can show the basic constituent mappings for this metaphor as follows: Source the thing burning the fire the heat of the fire the cause of the fire Target the entity involved in the situation the situation (action. latent intensity). . [injury-state] latent intensity is potential heat (of fire) The government was foundering on an issue that had smoldered for years. events. The reason is. [social problem] . states). event. The Relationship between Simple and Complex Metaphors This account gives rise to two distinct kinds of metaphor: simple and complex.. Among them. [agility in action] .144 METAPHOR The president warned that this will fuel the fires of nationalism. When we engage in intense situations (actions. state) the intensity of the situation the cause of the situation Þ Þ Þ Þ These basic mappings account for the majority of the linguistic expressions above. a major human concern with fire is its intensity. Recall that we have characterized the metaphors in which the source . 5. first. exhausted. [disease-state] I felt good but then this injury flared up. the linguistic examples that dominate the various applications of this source domain consist of metaphors that reflect intensity as a main meaning focus.g. that most of the metaphorical entailments of this metaphor follow from or are based on this particular mapping (e. they apply to a variety of situations or states of affairs (actions. the smoldering civil war. The main meaning focus of this source domain appears to be the intensity of a situation. . [war-conflict] intensity ceasing is the heat (fire) going out Some were simply burnt out. [agility in action] Thus. states). Fourth and finally. maintaining intensity. . fire-metaphors have a wide scope. there is very clear experiential basis for this mapping.

economic and political systems. . there is a simple submetaphor intensity is heat (of fire). events. participate as complex systems are buildings and a situation is heat (of fire). The submetaphors are said to be simple. conflict is fire. complex metaphors like theories are buildings or anger is fire do not constitute mappings in simple ones like abstract stability is physical strength or intensity is heat. and others. The relationship between complex and simple metaphors is shown in figure 10. it is reasonable to suggest that the same data can be accounted for by postulating four other metaphors: abstract construction is building. it is a central mapping that reflects the main meaning focus of the fire metaphors. society is a building. love is fire. life is a building. relationships are buildings. The reverse of this does not hold. as well as intensity (of a situation) is heat (of fire) for various states of affairs. All of these can be individually conceived as buildings. and so on are complex metaphors in that they are constituted by the corresponding submetaphors abstract creation is physical building. One such case is the range of target concepts under the overarching concept of complex systems. This simple metaphor is a mapping in such complex metaphors as anger is fire. society. In sum. and abstract stability is physical strength (of a building to stand) for complex systems.2. a large number of target concepts are characterized by the source concept of (heat of) fire. in that they are the ones that make up complex metaphors. given the central mappings of these metaphors. life.THE SCOPE OF METAPHOR 145 concepts of building and heat-fire. or argument is fire. Abstract complex systems include theories. and states are understood as fire. But we have also noted that. and abstract stability is physical strength. The resulting metaphors theories are buildings. respectively. This idea is obviously related to what is called “primary metaphor” in chapter 7.2. Various specific kinds of actions. simple metaphors constitute mappings in complex ones. Similarly. and they characterize an entire range of specific-level target concepts. social groups. abstract structure is physical structure. It Figure 10. The relationship between complex and simple metaphors. abstract structure is physical structure. In all of these. These submetaphors come from generalized central mappings. relationships. Correspondingly. economic systems are buildings.

Simple (or primary) metaphors function as mappings within complex metaphors. Thus. nature. but his argument was completely off base. and level of generality. The main meaning focus of a metaphor is the culturally agreed-on conceptual material associated with the source that it conventionally imparts to its targets. function. (See also chapter 19 in this book.” The scope of metaphor and the main meaning focus are further discussed by Kövecses (2005b). and central mapping. . Three theoretical notions were suggested: the scope of metaphor. Kövecses (2000b) relates the notion of main meaning focus to Langacker’s (1987) idea of “central knowledge. There are simple and complex metaphors. SUMMARY We can approach the study of conceptual metaphor in two additional ways.. Grady’s distinction between primary or primitive and complex or compound metaphors (Grady. but is not equal to. The complex metaphors contain this simple metaphor as a mapping. 1996). Give the conceptual metaphors that have sport as their source domain in the following examples. We can ask: (1) Which source domains apply to a particular target and (2) Which target domains does a particular source apply to? In this chapter I address the second issue. (a) He tried to convince me. Sport is a major source concept that applies to several target domains. The scope of metaphor is the range of target concepts to which a given source domain applies. we can distinguish them on the basis of their complexity.) The distinction between simple and complex metaphors parallels. In addition to distinguishing metaphors according to conventionality. enthusiasm is fire.” This mapping can be restated as a simple metaphor: the intensity (of a situation) is the intensity of heat. Grady et al. EXERCISES 1. the various complex firemetaphors. A central mapping is one from which other mappings derive and which maps the main meaning focus of the source onto the target. FURTHER READING The analysis of the argument (theory) is a building metaphor is largely based on Grady’s (1997b) paper on this metaphor. for example. main meaning focus.146 METAPHOR is the simple submetaphors (or mappings) that provide the major theme of complex metaphors by means of the process of mapping the meaning focus of the source onto the target. love is fire. together with that of the main meaning focus. is introduced by Kövecses (1995a) in relation to the discussion of the American conception of friendship. (b) We went on a long holiday to get out of the rat race for a while. 1997b. The issue of the scope of metaphor. like anger is fire. conflict is fire will all be characterized by the mapping “the heat of fire Þ the intensity of a state or event.

He is young and upwardly mobile. (d) The project might be kept ticking over indefinitely. yet it is a key player. (g) For decades it was these people who kept the wheels of the British economy turning. as in falling prices. With this promotion she became a top dog. (b) The machinery of democracy could be created quickly. fall prey to. Sylvie’s speech was the highlight of the conference. and so on. (d) Politicians often employ hardball tactics. (f) America is not a party to the negotiations. As discussed in this chapter. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) We couldn’t get a room in any of the top hotels. For the first time in months. Collect as many metaphorical expressions from a dictionary with the verb fall as you can. which can characterize several distinct target domains. the three countries’ armies used to sit near their western borders. (e) Life is not a spectator sport. Your highness is very moody today. Consider the following examples from the Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary. overarching metaphor can the metaphors you have found be grouped? (a) They affirmed their faith in the League of Nations and the machinery of international law. my spirits soared. Under which larger. This new invention is the high noon of his career. (c) The National Party is edging toward agreement on the timing and mechanics of an election. He is one of the world’s top journalists. 3. After three months of exercise he was in top form. (h) As cogs in the Soviet military machine. The upper class spend their time on the Riviera during high season. Figure out what the conceptual metaphors are. disregard cases of falling when it refers to some kind of decrease. (g) I took her out to dinner last night but we didn’t even get to first base.THE SCOPE OF METAPHOR 147 (c) American businessmen ask for a level playing field when they compete with foreign companies. a single source concept can characterize many distinct target domains. such as fall in love. machine. Only top politicians could attend this top secret meeting. She was feeling really high. 2. It was an uplifting experience. (In this exercise. 4. but its spirit was just as important. Now it is your task (after reading the metaphorical linguistic examples below) to determine (a) the source concept that each of the examples share and (b) the various target domains.) . There is a single source concept. (h) The election campaign was a close race because the presidential candidates had to play it safe for a long time to gain the support of the public. (f) The wheels of justice grind slowly. (e) The media are a commercial activity that oils the wheels of the economy.

148 METAPHOR (a) In all these cases we have physical falling as a source domain. and with this. try to see how wide the application of this source domain is. Find the target domains of falling. try to identify the scope. that is. the main meaning focus of falling as a source domain. (b) Given these target domains. .

(12) They selectively pruned the workforce. a local branch of this organization. In order to get clear about this issue. (4) The machinery of democracy could be created quickly but its spirit was just as important. (6) . to put an ailing company back on its feet.11 Metaphor Systems I n the preceding chapters. or whether they fit together to make up larger systematic groupings— that is. (9) Her career was in ruins.” What remains to be seen now is whether the conceptual metaphors themselves form even larger systems. . let us take the same list of English metaphorical expressions from the Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary that are given in the preface: (1) He was an animal on Saturday afternoon and is a disgrace to British football. (2) There is no painless way to get inflation down. . 149 . (3) Politicians are being blamed for the ills of society. there is overwhelming evidence for the view that metaphorical linguistic expressions cluster together to form systems called “conceptual metaphors. (7) Few of them have the qualifications . In other words. in this chapter I ask whether the conceptual metaphors are isolated from each other. . . We now have an excellent foundation on which to build. (8) The Service will continue to stagger from crisis to crisis. (10) How could any man ever understand the workings of a woman’s mind? (11) Scientists have taken a big step in understanding Alzheimer’s disease. metaphor systems—that incorporate individual conceptual metaphors. (5) Government grants have enabled a number of the top names in British sport to build a successful career.

society is a person: (3) Politicians are being blamed for the ills of society. it can’t afford to involve itself in military action. it can’t afford to involve itself in military action. . action is self-propelled motion: (11) Scientists have taken a big step in understanding Alzheimer’s disease. (19) They remembered her as she’d been in the flower of their friendship. relationships are plants: (13) . . . difficult-to-handle things are dogs: (17) It’s going to be a bitch to replace him. a local branch of this organization. (2) There is no painless way to get inflation down. (21) With its economy in ruins. (14) The coffee was perfect and by the time I was halfway through my first cup my brain was ticking over much more briskly. (18) The province is quite close to sliding into civil war. means are paths: (15) Let’s hope he can keep the team on the road to success. progress is motion forward: (8) The Service will continue to stagger from crisis to crisis. (17) It’s going to be a bitch to replace him. . . cheerful is sunny: (16) Everyone says what a happy. changes are movements: (18) The province is quite close to sliding into civil war. We now have an excellent foundation on which to build. These metaphorical linguistic expressions suggest the existence of a number of conceptual metaphors in English: the mind is a machine: (10) How could any man ever understand the workings of a woman’s mind? (14) The coffee was perfect and by the time I was halfway through my first cup my brain was ticking over much more briskly. French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot. . . have the qualifications to put an ailing company back on its feet. (19) They remembered her as she’d been in the flower of their friendship. . economic systems are buildings: (21) With its economy in ruins. violent human behavior is animal behavior: (1) He was an animal on Saturday afternoon and is a disgrace to British football. (12) They selectively pruned the workforce.150 METAPHOR (13) . . cultivating business relationships that can lead to major accounts. careers are buildings: (9) Her career was in ruins. (22) . sunny girl she was. society is a machine: (4) The machinery of democracy could be created quickly but its spirit was just as important. sunny girl she was. social organizations (companies) are plants: (6) . (16) Everyone says what a happy. . a company is a person: (7) Few . (15) Let’s hope he can keep the team on the road to success. (20) Vincent met his father’s icy stare evenly. cultivating business relationships that can lead to major accounts. (5) Government grants have enabled a number of the top names in British sport to build a successful career. .

conceptual entities denote any kind of mental unit. Two kinds of conceptual entities. in the world are conceptualized metaphorically.” including events and changes Figure 11. Now we can observe an obvious correspondence between objects as described in the Great Chain metaphor and things as conceptual entities in cognitive grammar. . while relations are coded as verbs. things appear in language (or. It has been suggested that the universal grammatical categories of noun and verb reflect a structuring of the world into two kinds of basic conceptual entities: things and relations. while the Event Structure metaphor system describes how events (and events as changes of states) are metaphorically understood. The Great Chain metaphor system accounts for how objects. In the clear cases at least. prepositions. The two systems account for all the metaphorical expressions and conceptual metaphors noted above and possibly hundreds of others. perhaps. sexually attractive women are kittens: (22) . . adjectives. on the one hand. into. What is the relationship among these conceptual metaphors? Is it the case that. As cognitive grammarians define these terms. two large metaphor systems have been suggested: The Great Chain of Being metaphor and the Event Structure metaphor. because) (figure 11. . they are linguistically coded) as nouns. in order to account for the metaphorical linguistic expressions highlighted above and many others. laugh. (I present the two systems in some detail later in this chapter. we need to postulate several hundred (or maybe even several thousand) such conceptual metaphors that are independent of each other? Or. do the conceptual metaphors “hang together” in a coherent way and form several (sub)systems in the conceptual system of speakers of English? How can we begin to see what the metaphorical system of English (or other languages) looks like? So far. we can say. or things. French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot. on the other. and between events (and changes of states) described by the Event Structure metaphor and relations as defined in cognitive grammar.METAPHOR SYSTEMS 151 unfriendly is icy: (20) Vincent met his father’s icy stare evenly.1. In other words. the Great Chain metaphor captures the metaphorical conceptualization of “things” and the Event Structure metaphor that of “relations.) The two systems (the Great Chain and Event Structure metaphors) can be brought into correspondence with some other findings in cognitive linguistics.1). or conjunctions. things are conceptual entities that have stability in space and over time (such as house and tree). and relations are conceptual links between two or more entities (such as bring.

152 METAPHOR of states. How did these animal-related words acquire. Not the best place for a couple of boys to be horsing around. His mother was catty and loud. animals were personified first. Obviously. some of the metaphors employ source domains that have to do with the concept of animal. Good friends don’t rat on each other. then. as is suggested by the following examples: human behavior is animal behavior She bitched about Dan. The claim is that the metaphorical conceptualization of a large portion of what we view as things and what we view as events can be successfully accounted for with the help of these systems. French sex kitten Brigitte Bardot. The best British music isn’t necessarily made with huge budgets or by aping the latest trends from across the Atlantic. their metaphorical meanings? The only way these meanings can have emerged is that humans attributed human characteristics to animals and then reapplied these characteristics to humans.” as suggested by horse around. That is. . and then the “human-based animal characteristics” were used to understand human behavior. This is a research site.” as suggested by bitch. In the following sections. animals do not “complain. and they do not “behave foolishly. Not a day goes by without him getting in and monkeying with something.” as suggested by catty. He is sure as hell going to go ape that you didn’t see Rocky yesterday. Setting up these parallels between the classification of conceptual entities and the two metaphor systems is not meant to imply that the metaphorical conceptualization of all things and all relations is exhaustively captured by the two metaphor systems. wolfing the cold food from dirty tin plates. we may note that some of the metaphorical expressions on our list above have to do with animals: that is. They had been eating standing up. The fact that the U. but I knew she was devoted to him. 1. . These are the following: violent human behavior is animal behavior: He was an animal on Saturday afternoon and is a disgrace to British football. I introduce the two systems in some detail. they are not “impertinent. We can arrive at larger generalizations if we look at more examples for these metaphors. The Great Chain of Being Metaphor To begin.S. . difficult-to-handle things are dogs: It’s going to be a bitch to replace him. Much of human behavior seems to be metaphorically understood in terms of animal behavior. sexually attractive women are kittens: . is saying these things makes it easier for the British government to weasel out.

Stupid cow. It seems that most animal-related metaphors capture the negative characteristics of human beings. Look at the things that have been done by these swine. But some of them don’t. we have a grouping of conceptual metaphors that fit together in that they all have human beings as their target and animals as their source domain. lack of affection is cold): Vincent met his father’s icy stare evenly. The notion of objectionability or undesirability as the main meaning focus of many animal metaphors is reinforced by the third metaphor below: difficultto-handle things are dogs. He is a complete pig to the women in his life. sunny girl she was. Tell me what you did with the money. “What the hell does the silly cow think she is doing?” I’ve had my eye on her.” This suggests that we can “rewrite” the metaphors as objectionable behavior is animal behavior and objectionable people are animals. people themselves are also often described as animals of some kind.METAPHOR SYSTEMS 153 But it is not only human behavior that is metaphorically understood in terms of animal behavior. and they don’t like it. she thinks I don’t know what goes on. Thus. a bunch of fat cats with fast cars and too many cigars. The main meaning focus of the human behavior is animal behavior and people are animals metaphors seems to be “objectionability” or “undesirability. This is some type of a system but still not the complete system that underlies these examples. You are putting the men down. unfriendly is icy (affection is warmth. we have the conceptual metaphor people are animals: people are animals That man was a brute. which consists of at least the following conceptual metaphors: human is animal objectionable human behavior is animal behavior objectionable people are animals difficult-to-handle things are dogs sexually attractive women are kittens Thus. Next consider two additional metaphors from our list: cheerful is sunny (happy is light): Everyone says what a happy. . We can generalize this observation by stating that we have in our conceptual system the highly general metaphor human is animal. they think you are being a bitch. . . he spent the little he earned on drink. The vermin are the people who rob old women in the street and break into houses. you swine. as indicated by the metaphor sexually attractive women are kittens. . All I could hear was the producer screaming.

from a higher source to a lower target. character) animals: instinctual attributes and behavior plants: biological attributes and behavior complex objects: structural attributes and functional behavior natural physical things: natural physical attributes and natural physical behavior This folk theory of the relationship of things in the world. which is described in some detail in the cognitive literature by Lakoff and Turner (1989). and the like are used for the comprehension of human beings. This gives us what is called the Great Chain of Being metaphor. animate beings are commonly comprehended in terms of inanimate things. It can go from a lower source to a higher target or from a higher source to a lower target. when humans are understood metaphorically as animals and inanimate things. such other properties of (inanimate) objects as hard-soft. This hierarchy of concepts is called the Great Chain of Being. and it may well be universal. More generally.) is used to understand another level. sharp-dull. big-small. humans are defined by rational thought. animals by instinct. in the JewishChristian tradition. This process can go in two directions (at least in the case of the basic Great Chain). clear-unclear.g. tender-tough. such as personifying a car. plants by certain biological properties. goes back to the Bible. For example. humans are comprehended as animals and (inanimate) objects. As just noted. The chain is defined by typical attributes and behavior.. Considering the large number of metaphorical expressions and conceptual . In addition to the examples given above. and so on.154 METAPHOR Again. What Lakoff and Turner call the “basic Great Chain” (which is a part of what they call the “extended Great Chain”) looks like this: THE GREAT CHAIN OF BEING humans: higher-order attributes and behavior (e. The Great Chain metaphor explains why and how a number of seemingly unrelated conceptual metaphors fit together in a coherent fashion. we can observe a more interesting kind of system of metaphors in English. This system becomes a metaphorical system when a particular level of the chain (human. half-whole. But the folk theory can be found in many cultures. it is simply a hierarchy of things and corresponding concepts that is structured from the top to the bottom. is the case where humans are used to conceptualize complex physical objects. The Great Chain of Being is not a metaphor yet. For example. we can generalize and say that these conceptual metaphors point to a higher-level metaphor that we can state as human properties are the properties of inanimate things. animal. Given these generalizations. warm-cold. thought. An example of the other direction of conceptualization. conceptualization proceeds from a lower source to a higher target in the basic Great Chain. etc. At the heart of the Great Chain metaphor is a certain folk theory of how “things” are related to each other in the world.

where the nature and relationships of the entities vary from case to case. government. For example. 2.2. The other “systems” could be characterized in a similar way. relationships. abstract complex systems include those shown in figure 11. The Complex Systems Metaphor But there are additional conceptual metaphors in the list with which we started the chapter and that can be accounted for as being a part of either the Great Chain or the Event Structure metaphor. power. economic systems.METAPHOR SYSTEMS 155 metaphors that this metaphor system can account for in a natural way. all of which interact with each other in complex ways. . political systems can be viewed as an abstract configuration of such entities as the people who participate in the political process. society. a metaphor subsystem that we began to investigate in chapters 8 and 9. Abstract complex systems. The mind. parties. The targets referred to by this term are characterizable as typically abstract complex configurations of entities. careers. and the like. social organizations. Figure 11. ideologies. we can regard it as a huge and important complex in both the mind of speakers of English and the description of English metaphors.2. Thus. The following conceptual metaphors from our list form a part of the Great Chain metaphor: the mind is a machine economic systems are buildings careers are buildings social organizations (companies) are plants relationships are plants society is a person society is a machine a company is a person This seemingly heterogeneous set of target domains can be placed under the concept of abstract complex systems. and a company are all target domains that fit into the concept of (abstract) complex systems.

stability. The claim is not that these source domains focus exclusively on these aspects of abstract complex systems. respectively. these metaphors characterize and account for a huge portion of the language that we use about abstract complex systems. development. and human body. buildings (as complex objects). The question that remains to be answered is where abstract complex systems themselves are located in the Great Chain.156 METAPHOR The major properties of these complex systems include the function. and condition of the system. The properties of function. building. and condition. as noted in the preceding section. and humans are also part of it. I suggest that the level that is above humans in the Great Chain is what . and condition of abstract complex systems are primarily featured by four source domains: machine. They all deal with different aspects of complex systems. we have to go beyond the basic Great Chain and consider what Lakoff and Turner call the “extended Great Chain. But now let us ask in what sense can we claim that the conceptual metaphors in the list at the beginning of this section (and in a generalized form above) form a part of the Great Chain of Being metaphor? The short answer that I suggest is that abstract complex systems are part of the Great Chain and that machines (as complex objects). (I discuss the details in the remainder of this section. In other words. we find that they address these issues. If we look at the metaphorical linguistic expressions that reveal the above-listed conceptual metaphors. plants. but that these are their dominant foci. what we are most interested in concerning these systems are primarily four issues: (1) Do they function effectively? (2) Are they long-lasting and stable? (3) Do they develop as they should? and (4) Are they in an appropriate condition? These four properties and issues come to the fore in the language we use about complex systems.) This claim yields the following generalized picture: Target Domain abstract complex systems Source Domains machine building plant human body As discussed later in this chapter. development. As a matter of fact. stability.” which looks like this: God (at least in the Jewish-Christian tradition) cosmos/universe society humans animals etc. As shown above. development. such as function. To see this. society is a part of abstract complex systems. stability. plant.

political systems. relationships. worldviews (and sets of ideas in general). any kind of social organization. after each example I indicate in brackets and in small capital letters the specific target concept that is involved. [political system] Observers here believe that the greatest difficulty before him is the ailing economy of the country. as the following examples suggest. . . But the range of target domains that the source domain of person takes is much wider than these two cases. The disease seems to be uniquely British. (To give a sense of the variety of possible target domains for this metaphor. Therefore. 2.) an abstract complex system is the human body . they include such conceptual metaphors as society is a person and a company is a person. at the very heart of our culture [cultural system] . as well as a variety of other abstract and concrete entities and particular relationships among them. It should be noticed that all the cases of abstract complex systems involve human beings and their ideas. a three-star hotel in the heart of the Latin quarter. . [worldview] I think it’s a symptom of the rebellion and dissatisfaction of the youngsters in our society who are growing up.1. [social organization] I have yet to meet a single American who automatically thinks any foreign product must be better than his own. [company] The tour is the first visit to the country by a Jewish head of state.METAPHOR SYSTEMS 157 I have been calling “abstract complex systems” and that it includes society as one of its categories. An Abstract Complex System Is the Human Body Let us begin with those conceptual metaphors that have the concept of person as their source domain. several others that are not mentioned in the Collins Cobuild collection. As indicated by the evidence in Collier Cobuild’s metaphor dictionary. . the world governing body in athletics [social organization] Politicians are being blamed for all the ills of society. and. We can say. that abstract complex systems are conceptualized metaphorically as persons. we get the more precise version: an abstract complex system is the human body. . As can be seen in the list above. it is not really the entire person that serves as the source domain of this metaphor but only the body of the person. the scope of the metaphor includes. in addition. But. if we slightly modify the conceptual metaphor. . [worldview] . then. such target concepts as economic systems. [society] Few of them have the qualifications or experience to put an ailing company back on its feet. [economy] The crippling disease of state involvement in industry through nationalisation has not been cured. [industry] . I suggest. Let us now look at the four major source domains that structure complex systems. industrial systems.

2. Mr. citizens fleeing their country’s economic ruins. he and a partner set up on their own and built up a successful fashion company. problems) are illnesses. The truth is that standard economic models constructed on the evidence of past experience are of little use. This observation yields the simple or primary metaphors: for (1). Abstract Complex Systems Are Buildings But. 2. Ten years ago. I call it the rearview mirror syndrome. scientific knowledge is constructed by small numbers of specialized workers. it seems that the main meaning focus of the metaphor is twofold: (1) the appropriateness of the condition and (2) the structure of an abstract system. the human body is not the only source domain in the conceptualization of abstract complex systems. metaphors utilize these particular aspects of the human body.158 METAPHOR The debate around the law is a symptom of a bigger problem. [a set of problems] This behavior was symptomatic of a generally uncaring attitude towards his wife. The simple. as discussed. The following examples suggest that there is a great deal of overlap between the targets of the human body as a source and those of buildings as a source. [social organization] Given that this metaphor has abstract complex systems as its most natural scope. . Major demolished his critics. Government grants have enabled a number of the top names in British sport to build a successful career. This list shows that the building metaphor also applies to complex systems as its target. [relationship] To some critics. In his toughest speech yet on the economy. Increasingly. or primary. McCarthy demolishes the romantic myth of the Wild West. beneath it hid despair and cold anger. [government] If we look at history. . We can observe that many of the same abstract target domains that take the human body also take the domain of buildings as their source. and inappropriate conditions (difficulties. an appropriate condition is a healthy condition. . . what has happened at NATO is not unusual. The self-confidence that she had built up so painfully was still paper-thin. Another one is the concept of building (that I deal with in chapter 10). the structure of an abstract complex system is the physical structure of the human body. the administration’s troubles are symptomatic of something deeper. for (2). [social organization] Women are the church’s backbone but rarely hold any positions of leadership. abstract complex systems are buildings Since then the two have built a solid relationship.



Her career was in ruins. With its economy in ruins, it can’t afford to involve itself in military action. Now another young woman’s life is in ruins after an appalling attack. There is no painless way to get inflation down. We now have an excellent foundation on which to build. You can help lay the foundations for a good relationship between your children by preparing your older child in advance for the new baby. . . . the advance that laid the foundations for modern science. Our view, he said, is that these claims are entirely without foundation. As he candidly admitted, French fears were not without foundation. He’s about to rock the foundations of the literary establishment with his novel. My faith was rocked to its foundations.

The main theme, or meaning focus, of the metaphor seems to be the creation of a well-structured and stable or lasting complex system. As noted in chapter 10, this theme arises from the fact that most of the examples have to do with these three interrelated aspects of buildings: construction (e.g., build, construct), structure (e.g., foundation, lay the foundation, without foundation, the foundation on which to build), and strength (e.g., solid, paper-thin, in ruins). We can summarize this observation in the form of the following mapping or metaphor: creating a well-structured and lasting abstract complex system is making a well-structured, strong building, which consists of several simple metaphors, such as creating an abstract complex system is building, the structure of an abstract system is the physical structure of a building, and a lasting abstract system is a strong building.

2.3. Abstract Complex Systems Are Machines A third member of the complex systems metaphor group appears to be complex systems are machines. In this case, the target of complex systems includes such abstract concepts as the legal system, the government, economic systems, political parties, political systems, the family, the human mind, and so on. That is, there is again a great deal of overlap between this set of target concepts and those that we saw in the case of the body and building metaphors. To see more clearly the main meaning focus of the metaphor, below I spell out the metaphorical entailments of the concept of machine as a source in relation to abstract complex systems as a target. Let us now look at some examples again.
abstract complex systems are machines The authorities now seem to be finally setting in motion the legal machinery to try and sentence those it regards as responsible for a counter-revolutionary rebellion. The machinery of democracy could be created quickly, but its spirit was just as important.



The National Party is edging toward agreement on the timing and mechanics of an election. . . . the mechanics of running a family and home changed fundamentally. The congress approved some modest changes, intended to make the party more democratic in its workings. . . . the workings of the free market. How could any man ever understand the workings of a woman’s mind?

This metaphor has a number of metaphorical entailments:
the regularity of the operation of a complex system is regularity of the workings of a machine (clockwork) He soon had the household running like clockwork. Each day a howling wind springs up from the south with almost clockwork regularity. ineffective or less than full operation is the ineffective or slow working of a machine The project might be kept ticking over indefinitely. The coffee was perfect, and by the time I was halfway through my first cup my brain was ticking over much more briskly. The wheels of justice grind slowly, and it wasn’t until eight years later that 13 people were convicted. Mr. Major has set the wheels in motion. Now let’s get on with it. It’s time everyone else started believing it and put the wheels of change in motion. not allowing the system to stop is not letting the machine stop If, however, it turns out that a lot more money is going to be needed to keep the wheels turning in eastern Germany, then another round of interest rate rise is expected. . . . practical solutions which would keep the business wheels turning. For decades it was these people who kept the wheels of the British economy turning. to maintain (the efficient operation of) a complex system is to maintain (the efficient working of) a machine The media are important to a healthy, well-functioning economy; they are a commercial activity that oils the wheels of the economy. . . . keeping the wheels of business oiled. Money-supply growth is currently inadequate to grease the wheels of recovery. They greased the wheels of the consumer boom by allowing us to buy what we want, when we want. unknown factors in the operation of a system are wheels within wheels in a machine There are wheels within wheels. Behind the actor’s apparent freedom as a director or a producer may lie the interest of the studio subsidising the film. unimportant parts of the system are small cogs in the machine



As cogs in the Soviet military machine, the three countries’ armies used to sit mainly near their western borders. They were small, totally insignificant cogs in the great wheel of the war. . . . the great advertising machine in which they were tiny cogs.

As the bulk of the examples and the metaphorical entailments of the metaphor suggest, the key theme here is the functioning, or the operation, of an abstract complex system. In several examples and entailments, we find a concern not only with operation but also with effective operation. We can capture this notion in the form of the simple metaphor: abstract functioning is physical functioning, or, in a more detailed way, the (effective) functioning or operation of a complex system is the (effective) functioning or working of a machine.

Why should we use the source domain of machines to conceptualize the functioning of abstract complex systems? The answer that lends itself most naturally is that we possess fairly good and coherent (folk) knowledge about the functioning of old-fashioned machines, such as machines with cogwheels, that date back to the industrial revolution. It is noteworthy that other, more recent machines, such as computers, do not appear to be used for the same purpose. Possibly, knowledge concerning their functioning has not yet become conventionalized enough for a given linguistic community to use these more sophisticated machines for understanding the functioning of abstract complex systems. However, it is precisely the computer that serves as the source domain to understand the functioning of the human mind (one abstract complex system) for some experts.

2.4. Abstract Complex Systems Are Plants Finally, let us recall the metaphor discussed in chapter 9: abstract complex systems are plants. As we saw there, the plant metaphor also involves such more specific target concepts as organizations, economic and political systems, relationships, and our view of the future, as well as arguments and problems as complex sets of ideas. Again, it is this large-scale overlap that entitles us to claim that the major (though not the exclusive) focus of the plant metaphor is the target concept of abstract complex systems. The key theme of the metaphor, as we saw, is the development of an abstract complex system, which is conceptualized as the natural growth of a plant. This gives us the simple metaphor abstract development or progress is natural physical growth. In sum, abstract complex systems are largely understood in terms of the four metaphors discussed in this section:
an an an an abstract abstract abstract abstract complex complex complex complex system system system system is is is is the human body a building a machine a plant

Together, the four metaphors form a subsystem of the (Extended) Great Chain metaphor, in which the target domain of abstract complex systems is



high in the hierarchy of “things,” while the source domains of human body, building, machine, and plant are all lower than the target. The four conceptual metaphors that make up this subsystem are what have been called “complex metaphors.” The “simple metaphors” on which the complex ones above are based are as follows:
an appropriate condition is a healthy condition; inappropriate conditions are illnesses; the structure of an abstract complex system is the physical structure of the human body creating an abstract complex system is building; the structure of an abstract complex system is the physical structure of a building; a lasting abstract complex system is a strong building the functioning of an abstract complex system is the working of a machine abstract development is natural physical growth

These simple metaphors reveal the major human concerns that we have in connection with abstract complex systems, such as whether the systems are in an appropriate condition, whether they are well-structured and longlasting, whether they function effectively, and whether they develop according to the standards we set for them. Furthermore, this analysis shows that the same simple metaphors (e.g., the structure of an abstract complex system is the physical structure of the human body) can participate in the constitution of several complex ones (e.g., an abstract complex system is the human body and an abstract complex system is a building).

3. The Event Structure Metaphor The remaining conceptual metaphors that we still have to account for on our initial list in the chapter include the following:
progress is motion forward: The Service will continue to stagger from crisis to crisis. action is self-propelled motion: Scientists have taken a big step in understanding Alzheimer’s disease. means are paths: Let’s hope he can keep the team on the road to success. changes are movements: The province is quite close to sliding into civil war.

These conceptual metaphors seem to be unrelated at first glance, but they all have to do with events. They are conceptualizations of the structure of events rather than conceptualizations of “things,” as was the case with the Great Chain metaphor discussed in the preceding sections.



George Lakoff and his colleagues describe a pervasive system of metaphors that involves all of these mappings, as well as others, called the “Event Structure Metaphor.” The complete system of mappings as discussed by Lakoff is presented below (in a somewhat simplified form). (Most of the linguistic examples used for illustration come from Lakoff’s work.)
states are locations: They are in love. changes are movements: He went crazy. causes are forces: The hit sent the crowd into a frenzy. action is self-propelled motion: We’ve taken the first step. purposes are destinations: He finally reached his goals. means are paths: She went from fat to thin through an intensive exercise program. difficulties are impediments: Let’s try to get around this problem. external events are large, moving objects: The flow of history . . . expected progress is a travel schedule: We’re behind schedule on this project. long-term, purposeful activities are journeys: You should move on with your life.

The Event Structure metaphor has various aspects of events as its target domain. The aspects of events include states that change, causes that produce changes, change itself, action, purpose of action, and so on. These various aspects of events are understood metaphorically in terms of such physical concepts as location, force, and motion. I represent this system diagrammatically in figure 11.3. In the following sections, I exemplify only four of these mappings: changes are movements, action is self-propelled motion, progress is motion forward, and means are paths. I continue to use examples from the Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary.

Figure 11.3. Event structure.



3.1. Changes Are Movements We conceive of change in terms of movement. One linguistic example that is based on this is: “That is very low by the standards of the mid-1980s, when China’s economy galloped ahead.” Galloping is a form of motion. By its nature, it indicates that the change is happening at a good pace. (The “ahead” part of gallop ahead is explained later in this section.) The changes are movements submapping within the Event Structure metaphor has some entailments. One entailment of the metaphor is that lack of control over change is viewed as lack of control over movement:
lack of control over change is lack of control over movement: Decisive steps had to be taken to stop the country from sliding into disaster.

It is this entailment that also explains the sentence on our initial list: “The province is quite close to sliding into civil war.” Another entailment of the metaphor is that accidental changes are conceptualized as accidental movements such as stumbling:
accidental changes are accidental movements Many important scientific discoveries have been stumbled across by accident. The customs men were obviously hoping that they had stumbled on a major drug-trafficking ring.

In addition, the entailment provides a neat, clear explanation for why people fall in love, fall prey to something, fall into an error, and several others. In these cases, there is a change of state and the change is accidental. This, then, is conceptualized as accidental motion such as falling. (Thus, we get a natural solution to exercise 4 in chapter 10.) 3.2. Action Is Self-Propelled Motion This mapping involves linguistic examples such as the following:
Scientists have taken a big step in understanding Alzheimer’s disease. The setting up of stock-exchanges is an important step on the road to a free-market economy. If you feel that you have reason to be worried, the first step is to make an appointment to see your family doctor. Many salespeople have the mistaken belief that making a sale is the last step in the selling process.

Stepping is a kind of self-propelled motion. This is why it can be used for understanding actions in general. This metaphor has several entailments as well. Thus, the manner of motion can be used to conceptualize the manner

there is some difficulty involved in making progress. The book is full of facts. But it is also understood metaphorically as motion forward: “That is very low by the standards of the mid-1980s. 3. Progress Is Motion Forward As we saw above in Lakoff’s system. road. .METAPHOR SYSTEMS 165 of the action. fine wine. . . 3. He was still adapting to life in the fast lane.” Progress is a form a change. The state government has lurched from one budget crisis to another. But it is also a special kind of change that is conceptualized as movement forward (or ahead).4. The marriage staggered on for a little while longer. it’s just like having an expert at your side. it is conceptualized as movement. during which he stumbled from one crisis to another. and avenue and the word path itself are employed for this purpose. This metaphor also has an interesting entailment: rate of progress is rate of motion forward The Service will continue to stagger from crisis to crisis. and several of them are used metaphorically. In addition. In all these examples. . and living in the slow lane. This yields the entailment manner of action is manner of motion. progress is viewed as a travel schedule. He had a depressing three years. in English the words route. as a result. careful action is careful motion It was a gradual process which could only be carried out step-by-step. This difficulty is conceptualized as some kind of impediment that slows down motion forward.3. similar action is synchronized motion Moscow is anxious to stay in step with Washington. They have found themselves out of step with the Prime Minister on this issue. Most commonly. The understanding of the word through requires the notion of path. when China’s economy galloped ahead. The company stumbled in the late 1980s when it rushed a new machine to market and allowed costs to soar. there are distinct kinds of path. The entailment manifests itself in at least the following ways: speed of action is speed of motion Cooper moved quickly into the fast lane of Hollywood society. seven days of good food. advice and step-by-step guides. Means Are Paths Means in the Event Structure metaphor are comprehended as paths. and.

. The route toward a market economy would be a very difficult one. What this shows is that some target concepts can be viewed metaphorically as both events and things. motion. such as a building (e. there can be an overlap between the Event Structure metaphor and the Great Chain metaphor. She has explored all the available avenues for change. building a relationship) and as events. with one of its subsystems the abstract complex systems metaphor. As some of the examples indicate.166 METAPHOR By the time she was sixteen she had decided that education would be the best route to a good job. Concepts like relationship and career appear as both “things” and “events.g. The president said his country would continue on its path to full democracy. These abstract concepts converge on the superordinate concept of event. change. Let’s hope he can keep the team on the road to success. the great chain metaphor. He must be well aware in private that the people need reassurance if they are to travel along the road of reform. such as state. the relationship is foundering). of which they constitute various aspects. so far. It may not be accidental that. and the event structure metaphor. Allison made it clear that she was eager to pursue other avenues.” In this chapter. then. force. cause. Marriage is not the only route to happiness.. The constituent abstract concepts are metaphorically conceived as physical location. these two large systems have been found. the Event Structure metaphor provides metaphorical understanding for a large number of abstract concepts. I decided on a change of career path—I was going to be a flight steward.g. they serve as target domains of both event sources and thing sources. For example. SUMMARY We have found that seemingly isolated conceptual metaphors form coherently organized larger groupings called “metaphor systems. A very long time ago.” including states and events. This can prevent you from seeing which path to take in your career. In line with other findings in cognitive linguistics. we can conceptualize relationships both as things.” That is. This job isn’t a path to riches. like a journey (e. I present two such metaphorical systems and a subsystem in some detail: namely. while the event structure metaphor is a way of understanding “relations. This alternative metaphorical conceptualization of some target concepts depends on which aspect(s) of the target we are focusing on in particular communicative situations. To sum up. and so on. and so on. the great chain metaphor represents a metaphorical understanding of “things” in the world. The two systems account for thousands of metaphorical linguistic expressions in English in an economical way that suggests an organization of linguistic and .

In the event structure metaphor. (George Santayana) (d) A man is the rope connecting animal and superman. Interestingly. In the great chain metaphor. Read the following quotations below The Home Book of Quotations (selected and arranged by Burton Stevenson. (Nietzsche) (e) I wonder what pleasure men can take in making beasts of themselves! (Samuel Johnson) (f) A man is a bundle of relations. whereas in the other. buildings. . and motion. Hale (1971) provides an interesting history and analysis of the “body politic” in terms of the “Great Chain” metaphor on the basis of literary and philosophical works. 10th ed. as in the fruits of the field.. a knot of roots. (Aristotle) (c) Mankind is a tribe of animals. Or needs to. and the entities higher in the hierarchy are understood via entities lower in the same hierarchy. (Mark Twain) (b) There is a cropping time in the generations of men. Musolff (2008) analyzes Hitler’s body metaphors. there springs up for a time a succession of splendid men. various kinds of events and their different aspects are conceptualized as location. machines. and then comes a period of barrenness. The complex systems metaphor is a subsystem of the great chain metaphor. metaphorical processes apply to a hierarchy in both directions (Great Chain. in which any kind of abstract complex system is comprehended in terms of the human body. if the stock be good. Kövecses (1995a) contains a description of the “complex systems” metaphor. but it can also be the case that entities lower in the hierarchy are conceptualized as entities higher up in the hierarchy (as when complex objects are personified in terms of humans). . though there is a dominant direction here as well). whose flower and fruitage is the world. the two large systems appear to be different as to their nature: in one. there is a hierarchy of entities (things). Lakoff and Turner (1989) describe the “Great Chain” metaphor. What other metaphor systems there are in English and how they interact with each other remain issues to be determined by future research. various abstract concepts are invariably understood in terms of concrete ones (Event Structure). and sometimes. (Emerson) (g) Man is a tool-making animal. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.METAPHOR SYSTEMS 167 conceptual metaphors that is not simply an alphabetical list. EXERCISES 1. (Benjamin Franklin) . 1993). FURTHER READING The “Event Structure metaphor” is presented by Lakoff (1990. Which metaphor (sub)system (complex systems. 1967). Musolff (2005) further studies the Great Chain metaphor.—a rope over a precipice. . force. An application of the Event Structure metaphor to the study of the verbs come and go is in Radden (1995). great chain) do the following linguistic metaphors belong to? (a) Man is the only animal that blushes. and plants.

the business and financial heart of the United States. Bears are not fierce. There are many kinds of fruit that grow on the tree of life. but none so sweet as friendship. And we’ll sing songs about ourselves—about warm trees and snug caves. . Friendship is an abstract concept that is often understood in terms of less-abstract concepts. . international meetings with heads of state and UN representatives. And I’ll see that you . the two protagonists. 4. and help me keep my claws in order. the skeleton of his plan. (f) Soil and friendship must be cultivated.168 METAPHOR 2. because I’m a bit of a soppy. (g) in Britain small businesses are the backbone of the Asian community. and we’ll live on honey. the acceptable face of Soviet foreign policy. and our squirrel’s drey. A broken friendship is never mended. . In summer and autumn. (i) True friendship is a plant of slow growth. strong animal with thick fur and sharp claws. Here are some proverbs focusing on friendship and friends. (k) Friendship. Bears are associated with defensive behaviour. but they will fight and kill people if they think that they are threatening them or their young. Try to analyze them and find which metaphor (sub)system they may belong to. The Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary gives the following information on bears and squirrels: A bear is a large. The only rose without thorns is friendship. (f) . Identify the target domains. Squirrels live in trees. and lying in the sun. (j) Flowers of true friendship never fade. squirrels bury supplies of nuts and berries so that they can dig them up and eat them in the winter. Squirrel is used metaphorically as a verb to talk about hiding or storing things secretly. (h) A broken friendship may be soldered but will never be sound. are on the stage): We’ll be together in our bear’s cave. And you’ll keep those big eyes on my fur. Look at the following examples from the Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary. . 3. like persimmons. . scruffy sort of a bear. . and nuts—lots and lots of nuts. . . . The government feared a hands-off policy would bring still more unemployment and social tension in the East. . (g) Water your friendships as you water your flowerpots. A man should keep his friendship in repair. and they eat nuts and berries. Wall Street. What aspect of the human body is used here to understand target concepts? (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) He has set up a body called security council. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) An old friend is a new house. Now look at the last paragraph of the closing scene from John Osborne’s play Look Back in Anger (Jimmy and Alison. . A squirrel is a small furry animal with a long bushy tail and long sharp teeth. is good only when ripe.

but you’re none too bright either.html). so we’ve got to be careful. The following linguistic expressions are quoted from Barack Obama’s 2008 New Hampshire speech. Which metaphor system can you identify in it? Which submappings of the metaphor are present? . slightly satanic. just waiting for rather mad.METAPHOR SYSTEMS 169 keep that sleek. because you’re a beautiful squirrel. bushy tail glistening as it should. how would you characterize Jimmy and Alison? (If you are familiar with the play. Right? Who is who here? How does our knowledge of these animals—based on the description above—enrich what we understand from this situation? Just from this segment of the play. There are cruel steel traps lying about everywhere. and very timid little animals. how does this relate to what happened in the rest of the story?) 5.org/weblog/2008/01/barack-obamas-speech-in-newhampshire. “we were far behind” “we always knew our climb would be steep” “ start putting them on a pathway to success” “we know the battle ahead will be long” “we have faced down impossible odds” “will begin the next great chapter in America’s story” Look up the whole text of the speech on the Internet (at http://www. nwprogressive.

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America doesn’t want another Pearl Harbor. 171 . We traveled to Pearl Harbor last year. 1. (a) I’m reading Shakespeare.12 Another Figure: Metonymy M etaphor is not the only “figure of speech” that plays an important role in our cognitive activities. Washington is the capital of the United States. Washington is negotiating with Moscow. such as: (b) Shakespeare was a literary genius. Nixon bombed Hanoi. In the sentences above. What Is Metonymy? Let us begin to answer the question in the section title by giving some metonymic linguistic expressions that might serve as examples (taken from Lakoff and Johnson’s [1980] work). the words in italics do not refer to the “things” that they would refer to in other. This glove is too tight for me. Nixon is a former American president. are related in several interesting ways. I discuss an equally significant other “trope”: metonymy. and I end the chapter by considering some of the recent issues that emerge from this characterization. In addition to characterizing metonymy. We need a better glove at third base. In this chapter. nonmetonymic applications. I begin with characterizing metonymy along the lines of some ideas in cognitive linguistics. although clearly distinct. I also show that metaphor and metonymy.

Does he own any Hemingway? the place for the event America doesn’t want another Pearl Harbor. are stated in small capitals: the producer for the product (the author for the work) I’m reading Shakespeare. We need a better baseball player at third base. Similar to metaphor. The sax has the flu today. Pearl Harbor. we find a number of additional metonymic linguistic expressions for each of the examples in (a). Washington. Wall Street is in a panic. the controller for the controlled Nixon bombed Hanoi. American bombers bombed Hanoi. most metonymic expressions are not isolated but come in larger groups that are characterized by a particular relationship between one kind of entity and another kind of entity. or to provide mental access to. Let’s not let El Salvador become another Vietnam. Watergate changed our politics. to indicate. the paraphrases of the sentences in (a) could be given as follows in (c): (c) I’m reading one of Shakespeare’s works. the American government. the place for the institution Washington is negotiating with Moscow. Ozawa gave a terrible concert last night. Hollywood is putting out terrible movies. Furthermore. and baseball player).172 METAPHOR Rather. Thus. another entity (such as one of Shakespeare’s works. She loves Picasso. and glove). or thing (such as Shakespeare. This suggests that in metonymy we use one entity. defeat in war. . similar to metaphor. The specific relationships. The American government is negotiating with the Russian government. In other words. America doesn’t want another major defeat in war. below. We try to direct attention to an entity through another entity related to it. The White House isn’t saying anything. an object used for the user We need a better glove at third base. these additional examples can be given as instances of specific conceptual relationships between kinds of entities. we provide mental access to it through another entity. instead of mentioning the second entity directly.

in which we have a number of entities including the producer (author). “The 8:40 just arrived”). whole for the part (as in. we get the place for the event. (This is not to be confused with “target domain” as used in connection with metaphor. In the traditional view of metonymy. the vehicle. Metonymies. to another entity the vehicle entity. Thus. namely. There are many other conceptual metonymies besides the ones above. the product (the works). within the same domain. In the same way. or as Lakoff puts it.) It is a basic feature of metonymically related vehicle and target entities that they are “close” to each other in conceptual space. or provides mental access. or that the two entities are in each other’s proximity. Given these observations. the producer is conceptually “close” to the product (because he is the one who makes it). for example. we can say that one kind of entity. the place where the product is made. or mental access. “America doesn’t want another Pearl Harbor”). We can call the entity that directs attention. “stands for” another kind of entity. and the conceptual metonymies are revealed by metonymic linguistic expressions. is provided the target entity. “We need some good heads on the project”). or idealized cognitive model (ICM). such as the one referred to by the expression one of Shakespeare’s works. Thus. an author and his works belong to the ICM that we can call the production icm. “He porched the newspaper”). to provide mental access to—other entities within the same ICM. this feature of metonymy is expressed by the claim that the two entities are contiguously related. and so on. place for action (as in. it is suggested that a vehicle entity can provide mental access to a target entity when the two entities belong to the same domain. then. Shakespeare. provides mental access to another conceptual entity. in the preceding examples. the controller for the controlled. whereas one of Shakespeare’s works. the work or product. “It’s a slow road”). the capital of the United States. . the target. “She shampooed her hair”). and a baseball player would be target entities.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 173 Thus. are conceptual in nature. Because they are tightly linked in experience. the same idealized cognitive model (ICM). “Give me my java/mocha”). place for product (as in. some of the entities can be used to indicate—that is. In the cognitive linguistic view. effect for cause (as in. For example. we have part for whole (as in. and many others. the place for the institution. such as the one referred to by the word Shakespeare. this claim is accepted and maintained but given a more precise formulation. destination for motion (as in. gloves are conceptually “close” to baseball players (because some baseball players wear gloves). Washington. and so on. the place of an institution is conceptually “close” to the institution itself (because most institutions are located in particular physical places). All of these form a coherent whole in our experience of the world as they co-occur repeatedly. we have the following definition of metonymy: Metonymy is a cognitive process in which one conceptual entity. the author or producer. instrument for action (as in. similar to metaphor. and glove would be vehicle entities. “America is a powerful country”). and the kind of entity to which attention. time for an object (as in. and so on.

” Here the test could not be applied without changing the sentence itself—“He is like on cloud nine” would not work. in the sense in which it was discussed earlier in this chapter. (metaphor) *The third baseman is like a glove. (metonymy) Obviously. unlike the case above. As discussed in chapter 6. A Comparison of Metaphor and Metonymy Let us now review the major similarities and differences between metaphor and metonymy in light of how metaphor was characterized in this book and the above description of metonymy. If. (metaphor) We need a new glove to play third base. Ray Gibbs (1994) suggests a good test to determine whether we have to do with a metaphoric or with a metonymic expression. we have to make the appropriate adjustment in order for the test to be applicable. the other metonymic: The creampuff was knocked out in the first round of the fight. I am using “similarity” here in a deliberately vague and superficial way. (metonymy) If we try to provide a nonliteral paraphrase for the comparison by making use of “is like. it may emerge from real similarity but also from perceived resemblance and correlations in experience. for example. It is the “is like” test. 2. as noted below. it is metonymy (the *marks the sentence as unacceptable): The boxer is like a creampuff.1. 2. there are also many different kinds of contiguity. this test has to be adjusted according to the grammatical category of the words and expressions that are involved in particular cases. Metonymy contrasts with metaphor in that it is based on the relationship of contiguity. however.174 METAPHOR This way of thinking about metonymy raises two important issues: (1) What are the ICMs in which metonymies most commonly occur? (2) What are the entities that most commonly serve as vehicle entities to access targets? I take up these issues in section 3. Given the difference between similarity and contiguity. the metaphor is not a noun. Similarity versus Contiguity The two concepts participating in metaphor stand typically in the relationship of similarity. similarity characterizes metaphor. otherwise. Thus. whereas contiguity is a feature of metonymy.” Thus. that just as there are many different kinds of similarity. It should be observed. . Consider a sentence like “He is on cloud nine. One possibility for adjustment is something like “He feels as if he was on cloud nine.” the comparison that is meaningful is metaphor. there are many sources for similarity. Consider two sentences—one metaphorical.

In all these cases. . and an instrument is closely related to the action in which it is used (instrument for action) (figure 12. action) that involves several elements. in contrast. Two Domains versus One Domain The view that metonymy is a relationship based on contiguity has an important consequence for understanding the difference between metaphor and metonymy. causation.1).2). that are closely related to each other in conceptual space. and on and on for many others discussed in the preceding pages (figure 12. we have two elements.2. Figure 12. Metonymic relationship. the producer is closely related to the product made (producer for product). a whole entity. the concept of love from that of a journey (love is a journey). Metaphor involves two concepts that are “distant” from each other in our conceptual system (although they are similar). effects are closely related to the causes that produce them (effect for cause). we have a single domain or ICM (such as production. the concept of action from that of physical motion (action is self-propelled motion).ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 175 Figure 12. control. Metaphorical relationship. the place is closely related to the institution that is located in that place (place for the institution).2. a whole is closely related to its parts (whole for the part). institution. while the other is typically a concrete one. 2. and the elements can stand metonymically for each other. The “distance” largely arises from the fact that one concept or domain is typically an abstract one. The elements in a metonymic relationship form a single domain. the concept of social organization from that of plants (social organizations are plants). By contrast. or entities. the concept of idea is distant from that of food (ideas are food). For instance.1. In metonymy. the controller is closely related to the thing controlled (controller for the controlled). For example.

is used less for the purposes of understanding. In other words. however. But still. Figure 12. there is a single mapping—a mapping that takes the listener from one entity (the vehicle entity) to another (the target entity).3). it may evoke several other parts within the domain or the whole domain.4. as we will see. the metaphoric process involves (two) conceptual domains (a and b) (figure 12. a more concrete or salient vehicle entity is used to give or gain access to a more abstract or less salient target entity within the same domain. the metonymy that is most productive is the one where there are two concepts (conceptual entities) involved within the same domain or ICM. This is because there are several kinds of relationships between the components of signs in general and those of the linguistic sign in particular. in so doing. Typically (though. Metonymy. Same Realm versus Distinct Realms As shown throughout this book. not always). occurs not just between concepts: that is. Possibilities for metaphor. All the examples used so far in this chapter are of this kind. In metonymy. The realm within which we find metaphor is that of concepts: that is. in contrast to metaphor. I refine this picture of potential metonymic relationships in section 3. cognitive access to a target entity that is less readily or easily available. this is what characterizes metonymy as well. between two conceptual entities (within the same conceptual domain or ICM).176 METAPHOR metaphor uses two distinct and distant domains or ICMs. typically. in that one conceptual entity stands for another conceptual entity (and this is also expressed through language). Metonymic relationships can also be found between word forms and real-world (nonlinguistic) referents and between word forms and corresponding concepts. Understanding versus Directing Attention The main function of metaphor is to understand one thing in terms of another. There is a set of systematic mappings between elements of the source and the target. metaphor arises between concepts. Thus. (Of course. 2.) 2. Understanding is achieved by mapping the structure of one domain onto another. however. We can think of this process of affording access to a target as a kind of mapping. this will be less systematic than in the case of metaphor. The main function of metonymy seems to be to provide mental.3. although this function is not completely ruled out. .3. the conceptual realm (which is expressed through language). Metonymy.

As the diagram shows. That is. pay only marginal attention to the second in this chapter (but see “Further Reading”).e.g. While metaphor arises as an interaction between two concepts.. Possibilities for metonymy. In addition to concept1 standing for concept2 (a case not represented in the diagram). utterance). a word form (e.4). word form. metonymy can be produced by a more varied set of “things” (concepts. Typical Metonymic Domains and Typical Vehicle Entities At the end of section 1.” One example of this is when a form stands for a corresponding concept. In conclusion. 3. I concentrate on the first issue. of what one says that can be “self-contradictory. This can be represented with the help of the wellknown semiotic triangle (figure 12. and referents) belonging to different “realms. for lack of space. and a referent. utterance) is used to indicate the meaning (concept) of that form (i. metonymy is different from metaphorical mappings.” This is what Lakoff and Turner call the words stand for the concepts they express metonymy. or meaning. A (linguistic) sign is commonly viewed as being constituted by a word form.. form1 can stand for concept1 or form1 can stand for thing/event1. and. It is only the content. given an ICM. the possibility for metonymic processes to occur is not only between concept1 and concept2 (within the same ICM). forms.4. metonymy can occur also between form1 and concept1 or between form1 and thing/event1—that is. a concept. . referent).” Here the word utterance is used metonymically. The form-concept unity characterizes the form-meaning relationship of any sign. I note that two important issues arise from the cognitive linguistic definition of metonymy: (1) the issue of what are the ICMs in which metonymy most commonly occurs and (2) the issue of which conceptual entities serve most naturally as vehicle entities. An example of this would be the sentence “That is a self-contradictory utterance. which only occur within the same realm (that of the concept) but across different and distant domains. in that it refers to or denotes the content of a sentence. it is important to note that domains that involve metonymy may and do cut across distinct realms (such as concept. In it. what one actually “utters” is taken to refer to or denote the meaning of what one says.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 177 Figure 12. In this respect.

The first configuration (version 1) applies to ICMs including the Thing-and-Part ICM.178 METAPHOR Figure 12. It can be suggested that the two configurations. Complex Event ICM. or elements. the whole for the part) or a whole ICM via one of its parts (e. or versions. The parentheses around the various parts in (1) indicate that metonymy emerges between the whole and a part (part1)—not between a part and another part (but with the other parts being present in the background) (figure 12. the producer for the product).5. . more specifically. Whole ICM and its parts.6).g. version (2) may lead to metonymies in which we access a part via another part of the same ICM (e.g. are the parts that constitute the ICM that is the whole. Version (1) may lead to metonymies in which we access a part of an ICM via its whole (e. The second configuration (version 2) applies to ICMs including the Action Figure 12. The parentheses around the whole ICM in (2) indicate that metonymy emerges between a part and another part—not between a whole and a part (but with the whole ICM being present in the background).6. a part for the whole). Category-and-Member ICM. can be viewed as a whole that is constituted by parts. apply to two different sets of ICMs. A conceptual domain.. and Category-and-Property ICM. Parts of an ICM.5)... Given this way of looking at ICMs. Constitution ICM. the conceptual entities. or ICM. metonymies may emerge in two ways: either (1) a whole stands for a part or a part stands for a whole or (2) a part stands for another part (figure 12.g.

face. Thus. are typically conceived of as having well-delineated boundaries and as internally composed of various parts. or leg for the whole person. only the noun phrase the Americas is. The other metonymic variant. the configuration of Whole ICM and its Part(s) mainly captures metonymies involving things. (Actually.) The metonymy whole thing for a part of the thing is widely found in situations that Ronald Langacker (1991.” respectively. we can readily . Causation ICM. has traditionally been given special status under the name of synecdoche. Containment ICM.” and the crown for “the monarchy. and in speaking of England when we want to refer to Great Britain including Wales and Scotland.1. Parts that are used to stand for physical things include the well-known metonymies of sail for “sailboat” or body parts such as hand. democracy. and ICMs involving indeterminate conceptual relationships between a vehicle and a target. For example. we have a “play” as a theater’s active zone in mind. Likewise. either the whole stands for a part: America for “United States” or a part stands for the whole: England for “Great Britain. Control ICM. They can claim that the word form America is not used for the American continent. 3. we are making use of a part-for-whole metonymy. or monarchy can have parts. Whole and Part The relationship between a whole and a part typically applies to things. Production ICM. abstract things may be metonymically accessed via their parts. schematic sense—in the same way as in chapter 11. which may be metonymically involved as active zones. in He hit me or The car needs washing. the whole things he and the car may be said to stand as a whole for the “active-zone” parts “his fist” and “the car’s body.” the bullet for “force.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 179 ICM. as in the ballot for “democratic voting.” In speaking of America when we want to refer to the United States (as part of the whole continent). 3. Things. Possession ICM. Also. we are thinking of a “building” as the active zone. The Thing and Its Parts ICM There are basically two variants that belong here. head. part of a thing for the whole thing. where the notion of thing is to be understood here in a maximally general.1. in Let’s go to the theater tonight. we are making use of a whole-for-part metonymy.” Thus.1. Given the relationship between a whole and a part. 1993) describes as active zone. Hence. in particular physical objects.” the stage for “the theater. abstract things such as the theater. the former example may be confusing to some people. whereas in This is the new Globe Theatre. This usage then leads to a conceptual metonymy. I am here disregarding the article and the plural ending and concentrating only on the fact that the word form America is used in both.

among other things. The relationship between a category and one of its members may lead to reversible metonymies: . co-present subevents for complex event: Mary speaks Spanish. physical objects. Another ICM to which the relationship between a whole and a part may be said to apply is what can be called the “Constitution ICM.” the initial subevent is used to stand for the whole wedding ceremony. reading. we have two more specific metonymies: successive subevents for complex event: They stood at the altar. central.1. cleaning and peeling the potatoes and other ingredients. as a habitual event. correcting.” 3. and final subevents may be conventionally used to stand for entire complex events.” Substances may be conceived of as parts that constitute or make up things. in the case of part of an event for the whole event. such as comprehension. More specifically. central subevent for complex event. putting them in a pot and adding water. initial. copresent with other linguistic skills.1.1.180 METAPHOR understand the part-for-whole metonymies in the sentence “Most people prefer the ballot to the bullet. in particular.1.1.3.” the metonymy is based on the fact that speaking a language assumes several events and abilities other than speaking. and eventually grading students’ papers. subevents may occur in succession or they may occur simultaneously. Mary’s command of speaking the language is. The Constitution ICM gives rise to two metonymic variants: object for material constituting that object: “There was cat all over the road. and writing. Constitution ICM. and in “I have to grade hundreds of papers. and final subevent for complex event.” the final subevent describes the complex event of reading.” the material constituting an object for the object: wood for “the forest” The relationship between an object and the material constituting it corresponds to the grammatical distinction between countable entities and mass entities. In the case of “Mary speaks Spanish. Complex Event ICM.1.” the central subevent of cooking stands for the whole event of preparing food including. In “They stood at the altar. 3.1. Thus. Category-and-Member ICM.2. in “Mother is cooking potatoes. Category-and-Member ICMs are instances of the Whole-and-Part configuration. Since events evolve in time. 3. With successive events. we therefore have the submetonymies initial subevent for complex event.

The Action ICM. the relationship between parts typically applies to conceptual entities within an event (event icms). one or more of their defining or otherwise essential properties. an object involved in an action and the action. and may metonymically stand for. the category that it defines: category for defining property: jerk for “stupidity” defining property for category: blacks for “black people” 3.1. which may be related to an action (more precisely. Properties may be seen as parts of a category. 3. the predicate expressing the action) or to each other. be used easily to indicate pain relievers in general. to author a book action for agent: snitch (slang: “to inform” and “informer”) object involved in an action for the action: to blanket the bed action for object involved in the action: Give me one bite. specific relationships such as between an instrument and the action. conversely. or entities. and stand for. thus. For example. While the relationship between a whole and its parts typically applies to things (thing icms). Category and Property ICM. which is also taken to include events of motion.4. result for action: a screw-up (slang: “to blunder” and “blunder”) action for result: a deep cut means for action: He sneezed the tissue off the table. aspirin is one of the best-known pain relievers. the destination of a motion and the motion.2. 3.1. Action ICM Action ICMs involve a variety of participants. . a defining or essential property of a category may evoke. all of which are parts of the Action ICM. thus.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 181 category for a member of the category: the pill for “birth control pill” member of a category for the category: aspirin for “any painrelieving tablet” The member of a category that is used as a metonymic vehicle or target is an especially salient one. Part and Part Any type of possible relationship of one conceptual entity to another conceptual entity within an ICM will be understood as an instance of the partand-part metonymy. the result of an action and the action. If categories are defined by a set of properties.1. includes the following types of metonymic relationships: instrument for action: to ski.2. and it can. to shampoo one’s hair agent for action: to butcher the cow. Categories typically evoke. these properties are necessarily part of the category. There are.

The production of objects seems to be a particularly salient type of causal action. She is my ruin. It can produce either cause-for-effect metonymies (healthy complexion for “the good state of health bringing about the effect of healthy complexion”) or effect-for-cause metonymies (slow road for “slow traffic resulting from the poor state of the road” or sad book for “sadness resulting from reading a book”). is a product. By choosing such examples.” 3.182 METAPHOR manner of action for the action: She tiptoed to her bed. In all these metonymic examples. we have a cause-and-effect type of relationship. or entities.2.” or “The car screeched to a halt. Examples of derivational changes would be write-writer (action for agent). the forms of the words are the same.3.2. The Action and Causation ICMs can combine and produce the metonymy sound caused for the event that caused it: She rang the money into the till. The metonymic relationship effect for cause seems to be more widespread. Production ICM Production ICMs involve actions in which one of the participants. Among effect for cause we find the special types: state/event for the thing/person/state that caused it: She was a success. although their word classes may change. 3. Causation ICM When one thing or event causes another. This metonymy is particularly frequently found with motion events as in “The train whistled into the station.2.” “The fire trucks roared out of the firehouse. I deliberately avoid the issue of how derivational processes and inflections (such as the case of America versus Americas) affect metonymy. and beauty-beautify (as in “to beautify the lawn”: result for action). He was a failure. to deck one’s opponent time of motion for an entity involved in the motion: The 8:40 just arrived. fly-flight (as in “The flight is waiting to depart”: action for object). The Production ICM gives rise to various metonymic relationships involving the thing produced: producer for product: a Ford . time period of action for the action: to summer in Paris destination for motion: to porch the newspaper.

Possession ICM The relationship of control blends into that of possession. 3. so that we commonly find metonymies that target the content via the container rather than the reverse metonymic relationship: . controlled for controller: The Mercedes has arrived. The Possession ICM may produce reversible metonymies. however. irreversible. and inventors receive particular metonymic attention. as in Lakoff and Johnson’s example Mrs. Control ICM The Control ICM includes a controller and a person or an object controlled. Thus. we do not seem to have either *product for producer or *product for place.4.2. however. there is. which may lead to metonymy. that is. As one of the subtypes of the producer-for-product metonymy we have: author for his work: We are reading Shakespeare. China Both metonymic relationships are.2. the user controls the object used. in it. in which a person is “in control” of an object. we have the object for the user of the object. where the expression blue jeans stands for the people who wear blue jeans. scientists.2. 3. Java. Possibly. It gives rise to the reversible metonymic relationships: controller for controlled: Schwarzkopf defeated Iraq. Containment ICM The image-schematic relationship that holds between a container and the things contained in it is conceptually well entrenched and applies to many standardized situations. the “use” relationship also belongs here. As a rule.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 183 Producers of highly outstanding “products” in a culture like artists. Grundy frowns on blue jeans. Certain food products are naturally associated with their place of origin and thus may be metonymically accessed via this place: place for product made there: Mocha.6.5. we are more interested in the content of a container than in the mere container. since. a clear preference for choosing the possessor as a vehicle: possessor for possessed: “This is Harry” for “Harry’s drink” possessed for possessor: “He married money” for “someone who has money” and “She married power” for “someone who has power” 3.

but none of them seems to fully capture the “essence” of the kind of “contiguity” that we feel holds between a customer and his or her dish. for instance. This case of a metonymic relationship between anger and body heat is called cause and effect in this chapter. motion is . Assorted ICMs Involving Indeterminate Relationships Unlike the cases discussed so far. The reason may be that there does not appear to be a clearly specifiable type of conceptual relationship that obtains between a customer in a restaurant (the person indicated by the phrase the ham sandwich) and the dish ordered by him or her. the metaphor anger is heat.” 3. Take. In this case. for example. Since. There are other metonymic relationships that may underlie conceptual metaphors. The kind of metonymy that applies to this example is effect for cause (body heat for anger). The essentially metonymic relationship that exists between a category and its members may be a case in point.184 METAPHOR container for contained: glass for “wine” contained for container: The milk tipped over. The relationship is indeterminate within the set of general conceptual relationships. Thus. with which the members of a culture are thoroughly familiar. anger can be said to result in increased subjective body heat (among other things). as in the whole town for “the people living in the town. This again shows that metaphors are often based on correlations in experience—a topic to which I return in chapter 13. For example. or control. The conceptual relationship might be specified as one of possession.7. In the folk model of emotion. it may not be unreasonable to suggest that many conceptual metaphors derive from conceptual metonymies.2. Metonymic Relationships and Metaphor Given the metonymic relationships discussed in the preceding section. 4. the widely discussed metonymy “The ham sandwich wants a side dish of salad” does not occur on traditional lists of metonymic relationships. The conceptual metaphor anger is heat arises from a generalization of body heat to heat. part-whole. the metonymic vehicle (body heat) becomes the source domain of metaphor through the process of generalization. Places at large may be conceptualized as containers for people. but it is clearly determinate within the specific restaurant ICM. so that we have as a containment metonymy place for inhabitants. The Containment ICM is widely extended metaphorically and also gives rise to metaphorically based metonymies. emotions are seen as resulting in certain physiological effects. not all metonymies are constituted by one clearly specifiable type of relationship.

4. The “body heat produced by anger” can be viewed as a metonymy: body heat for anger. I discuss three such cases. the metonymic relationships mentioned in section 3 can be useful in this search. What I am trying to do here is to see whether we can find a metonymic relationship for a particular metaphorical relationship between S and T. they would suggest that many conceptual metaphors have a metonymic basis or motivation. Thus. The metaphor anger is heat is a case where the source domain of heat emerges from the target domain of anger through a metonymic process. Obviously. body heat becomes heat (generalization). However. Among the metaphors examined here. some metaphorical relationships can be said to be motivated by a cause and effect type of metonymy. If a metonymic relationship can be found between a metaphorical source and target.1. . while some others by a whole and part type of metonymy. A case in point is represented by the metaphor anger is heat.1. That is. If these observations are valid. the source domain of heat arises from the common metonymic relationship that we put as effect for cause above. conceptual metaphors. In it. there are also metaphors to which no metonymic relationship applies. other metonymic relationships are likely to characterize. Let us try to take inventory of the possible metonymic relationships that might obtain between a source domain (S) and a target domain (T) in conceptual metaphor and on which metaphors may be built. and thus motivate. The list of cases that follows is simply a beginning to study this issue in a serious way. 4. As discussed later in this chapter. the action is motion and causes are forces metaphors described in chapter 11 may also be understood as ultimately deriving from such conceptual metonymies as member of a category for the category. we have the following chain of conceptualization: anger produces body heat (metonymy).1. Target Results in Source There are conceptual metaphors in which the source domain can be seen as resulting from the target domain. only two general metonymic relationships are applicable: cause and effect (from the causation icm) and whole and part (from the thing icm). Causation This case involves a source and a target domain that are causally (cause and effect) related in a conceptual metaphor. in addition to cause and effect and whole and part. s causes t to occur and t causes s to occur. heat is used to understand anger (metaphor). then the metaphor can be said to be motivated by and derive from the metonymy in question.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 185 a subcategory of action and force is a subcategory of cause. The ICM in which this metonymic relationship emerges is causation.

we would have a case in which a target enables the source. In this case. in that it does not produce an effect but simply makes an effect possible. Thus. the concept of argument may become the target domain of war. Part-Whole In section 3.186 METAPHOR 4. there is no movement (e. as in the well-established metaphor argument is war. and dissection commonly enables us to perform analysis. I discuss a number of metonymic relationships characterizing “things. Here the source domain is a precondition for the event in the target to occur. Source Enables Target The relationship between some source and target domains in metaphor is such that the source enables the target to occur or to be the case.g. This is a form of the metonymy effect for cause.. Source Is a Subcategory of Target With some source domains we find that they are subcategories of the target domain. Here the underlying metonymy is precondition (a kind of enabling cause) for resulting event/action (a kind of effect). In this sense. Precondition is a “weak” kind of causation (unlike the two previous cases). A metaphorical source and target domain may be related in such a way that one is a part and the other is a whole with respect to that part. that is. Some metaphors that appear to have this kind of basis include the following: . in which the source (war) produces the target (argument). just like causes in general. motion is a subcategory of events. can be considered as the basis of metaphor. In this metaphor. for example. then.1. locomotion). in that they produce effects. the source results in the target.1.” Things are viewed as wholes with parts. And physical forces are subcategories of causes. in it a subcategory stands for the category as a whole. Subcategorization is a metonymic relationship because. Movement can only take place in time.2. Without time. which then “stands for” the source. Perhaps the metaphor (the passing of) time is movement (through space) also belongs here. This. 4. Source Results in Target In some conceptual metaphors target domains may derive historically from source domains.2. Examples of this include knowing is seeing and analysis is dissection. verbal arguments can be seen to derive from physical fighting or war in the sense that humans developed the verbal activity of argument to avoid physical conflicts.3. I look at two such cases next. For example.1. it is the target domain of time that enables movement. 4.2. When this happens. the emergence of argument is war may be “reduced to” a metonymic process. Seeing makes knowing possible in many cases. 4. however.

perceptual (more is up).” said to a gas station attendant.e. what we find is that an expression is both. Often. 4. please.. It should be noticed that this partial inventory of the metonymic basis of many metaphors is but a restatement of the experiential grounding of metaphor dealt with in chapter 6 (in particular.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 187 events are actions change is motion causation is transfer causes are forces action is motion 4. we bring together two previously distant conceptual domains into a single one in our perceptual experience. 5. The Interaction of Metaphor and Metonymy Particular linguistic expressions are not always clearly either metaphors or metonymies. correlation in experience is not mentioned in this chapter as a metonymic relationship. As a matter of fact. “correlations in experience” and “source as the root of the target”). This is what we find in up being used for more. in the well-known case of more is up (analyzed in chapter 6).. it is suggested that this is a correlation-based metaphor because it involves two distinct and distant concepts: quantity (i. Correlation in Experience So far.2 involves cases where both the target and the source are subcategories of a higher. we bring together two distant conceptual domains (i. This kind of metonymy is based on correlation in experience. more) and verticality (i. In such cases.. and because we now have the two concepts in a single domain. However. more inclusive category. quantity and verticality) in a single domain. as in “Fill her up. cultural (argument is war). we can think of cases like this as being metonymic relationships. and category-based (causes are forces). in which the two can be found simultaneously. This experiential grounding may be of various kinds. For example. Source and Target Are Subcategories of a Higher Category An interesting special case of section 4. one can be used to stand for the other.e. it can be claimed that quantity and verticality are very different concepts and that they are distant from each other in conceptual space. where both lust and hunger are special cases of desire—desire for sex and desire for food. Most metaphors are based on one or several of these. including bodily (anger is heat).2. up) such that we understand one (quantity) through the other (verticality).3.2. it is commonly taken to be the basis for metaphor. In this metaphor. the two figures .e. When we pour water into a glass or when we add more of something to a pile. We perceive the pile go up higher as we add more substance to it. An instance of this is the metaphor lust is hunger.

” we have a metonymic reading. a connection between two entities in two different . This process is different from the one discussed above. We also find mappings between two ICMs (or frames) or. speech—more precisely. mappings often serve the function of identifying one conceptual entity with another. is a metonymy: namely. Antonio Barcelona (2008) raises issues in connection with the ideas discussed in this chapter and with the theory of metonymy in general. we have the figurative meaning “to talk foolishly about something that one doesn’t know much about or should not talk about. “Buried” in this metaphor. Literally. 6. or ICM in the case of metonymy. the distinction between metaphor and metonymy. we have individual examples where metaphor and metonymy interact. metonymy as a prototype category. Let us see some examples of how metonymy and metaphor interact in particular linguistic expressions. the status of active zone phenomena as metonymy. and others. However. First. In this way. the notion of mapping is even broader. is mapped onto the target domain. In such cases. onto the organ of speech. Here I attempt to respond to some of these issues. In these cases. This phenomenon was studied by Louis Goossens (1990).” Metonymy within metaphor arises here in the following way. what Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner (2002) call “mental spaces. As a matter of fact.” The expression has two nonliteral meanings: “to be silent” and “to say little. if we describe as close-lipped a talkative person who does not say what we would like to hear from him or her.188 METAPHOR blend in a single expression. Given the saliency of the metonymic reading. What is common to all three types of mappings is that they establish a connection between two conceptual entities: a connection between two entities within the same frame. the gun. we have a metaphorical reading in which a source domain item. Consider the expression to be close-lipped. The particular issues include the nature of metonymic mappings.” Another type of interaction between metaphor and metonymy is the expression to shoot one’s mouth off.” A metaphor incorporates a metonymy within the same linguistic expression. Thus.” (On mental spaces. the mouth. It is mentioned in section 1 that both metonymy and metaphor work by means of mappings. where the relationship between conceptual metaphors and conceptual metonymies is examined. we have the case of metonymy within metaphor. Rethinking Some Issues In a wide-ranging paper that explores a number of difficult problems in the study of metonymy. the foolish use of a firearm is mapped onto foolish talk.” When it is used in the sense of “to be silent. in that having the lips close together results in silence. so to speak. we have a case here that can be described as “metaphor from metonymy. we have a metaphoric reading. see chapter 17). In to shoot one’s mouth off. the mouth standing for the faculty of speech. it means “to have one’s lips close together. We can call this case “metonymy within metaphor.

In the example. a book written by him. the metonymy points beyond the primary domain to a “secondary domain. and a connection between two entities in two different frames or mental spaces. since the connection between two frames or mental spaces often results in the identification of one entity with another. and thus the metonymy is outward-looking. one entity becomes like another. metonymic mappings) can be of two kinds: “outward-looking” and “inward-looking. the (name of the) author. Since Hemingway is primarily a person (just like any other author). For instance.e. Take the sentence “This book is large.” The word book seems to be definable by recourse to one or more primary domains: physical object.” These are clearly distinct types of connections. I suggest that they are different—different in subtle ways. we can say that the mapping (or through-connection) is inward-looking.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 189 and conceptually distant frames. Through-connections would be linking circuits in the neural theory of metaphor and as-if-connections would be mapping circuits (see chapter 6).” where Hemingway. Let us call this a “through-connection. the glove does not resemble the player using it. size. “Through-connections” (i. some outward-looking metonymic . and so on. and neither is it identical to it.” which is his books. A case of an outward-looking mapping referring to an entity is the sentence “I bought another Hemingway. Thus. A “through-connection” is not an “as-if-connection. the connection between the entities is such that one entity is mentally activated by or through another entity.. the domains that characterize particular metonymically used entities vary along a gradient of “primariness” all the way to secondary status. or ICMs in the case of metaphor.or an outward-looking mapping? This is a tough question. On the other hand. The question arises what the nature of the three connections is like: that is.” On the one hand. The primary domain that characterizes Hemingway is that of a person. it is their size that is activated. because books are physical objects. we can call it an “is-connection. In such cases. We can call this an “as-if-connection. whether they are the same or different in the three cases. the books would be outside the primary domain for authors. In all probability. is the domain of semantic content just as primary as physical object is for book? In other words. semantic content. activates an entity. outward-looking metonymic mappings activate an entity that is outside what Langacker calls the “primary domain” of the vehicle (or source) entity. color.” In the case of metaphor.” Finally.” In the metonymic connection between the glove and the baseball player. In metonymy. is the sentence “This book is complicated” based on an inward.” where Hemingway is used to refer to an entity. a book. one of their defining features is that they have a particular shape. An example of this is the sentence: “I bought another Hemingway. but at least we know that when an author is used to indicate (activate) the author’s books. Outward-looking metonymic mappings either refer to an entity or highlight an aspect of a concept. and so on.” and neither is it an “is-connection. For example. inward-looking metonymies activate something inside their primary domain.

at the same time. The predicate “is large” directs attention to. where we have such conventional meaning shifts. we can have a momentary act of meaning specialization (i. I do not think that a shift in conventional meaning is a criterion of metonymy. . consequently. On this view. the example “I admire Hemingway” would possibly not count as metonymy because Hemingway. By contrast. being a person and an author. If I think of Hemingway primarily as an author. Does this mean that all nominal metonymies such as those we have seen for Hemingway and book are active zone phenomena and. To take another example of active zone. One way this can happen is that there occurs a shift in imagery associated with an item (for example. we have better examples of metonymy (or metaphor) than in those cases where we don’t. a shift from Hemingway as author to his authorial qualities). in the case of the sentence “I bought another Hemingway. This means that cases where there is no obvious shift in meaning would not be considered metonymies. For example. This does not mean that I do not find lexicalized meaning shifts important in metonymy (or in metaphor. Probably. Thus. That is. they can just highlight some aspect of a concept. At the same time. if we decide that semantic content is not a primary domain for book. consider the sentence “I admire Hemingway. does not also conventionally mean “authorial qualities.” when it is used to mean that I think highly of Hemingway as an author. a shift in imagery) with respect to our central knowledge (see chapter 10) defined by a primary domain.” However.” which highlights an aspect of central knowledge. producer for product). “This book is large. I suggest that inward-looking metonymies include what was called “active zone” phenomena above. that is.. in other words. an aspect of books that is characterizable by means of a primary domain: physical size.” does not refer to an entity but highlights the size aspect of the concept of book. however. the example “This book is large” is a case of active zone phenomena. as a matter of fact).190 METAPHOR mappings are referential. it is an inward-looking mapping. metonymic? Is there. the example sentence “This book is complicated” would be a case of highlighting a certain aspect (the complicated meaning) of books (a secondary domain for persons/authors)—without referring to it.” we could claim that we have to do with metonymy because the names of authors in general can be conventionally used to indicate (mean) their books (cf. then this use of the word Hemingway can be viewed as metonymic and the mapping as inward-looking because the (good or bad) qualities of the author are a primary domain in relation to authors. I have no problem accepting all cases of active zone as cases of metonymy. The example above. inward-looking metonymic mappings seem only to highlight an aspect of a concept. But others may not be. Some linguists argue that a shift in meaning is a possible requirement for metonymy. Here the predicate “admire” highlights Hemingway’s qualities as an author. I believe the driving force behind this is what in this section is called “inward-looking mapping. and. conceptual processes such as metonymy (or any other conceptual operation) can occur without them.e. or highlights. a way to delimit metonymy? This is another difficult question.

. as specified in this chapter. metonymy is chiefly the use of a word in place of another in order to refer to some entity. in the case of entity 2. it can result either in entity 1 referring to entity 2 or in entity 1 highlighting an aspect of entity 2. such as producer for product. or frame.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 191 How does this discussion affect the definition of metaphor at the beginning of the chapter? I propose a new definition: In metonymy.” There is. Cases that diverge from these characteristics produce less good examples of metonymy. it is based on ICMs with specific conceptual relationships among their elements. Entity 1 and entity 2 are concepts (subdomains within a larger domain). I believe. By contrast. there must be what Fauconnier calls a “pragmatic function mapping” between the two. The definition allows us to see metonymy as a prototype category. we access entity 2 through entity 1 by means of a “throughconnection. SUMMARY In this chapter. for instance. The mapping can be either inward-looking or outward looking. Thus. in which the prototypical case can be characterized in the following way: There is a through-connection between entity 1 and entity 2. If it is outward-looking. aspects of concepts. I characterize the traditional and the cognitive linguistic view of metonymy. where one word can be used for another if the meanings of the words are contiguously related. Entity 1 refers to entity 2. The mapping between entity 1 and entity 2 is outward-looking. established through-connections between the entities. In the former situation. and the two are in the same ICM. This definition does not explain why entity 1 and entity 2 are linked by a “through-connection. essentially. in the latter situation there is no such requirement. If it is inward-looking. In the traditional view. highlighting an aspect of a concept is less good of an example of metonymy than one entity referring to another. its main function is to provide mental access through one conceptual entity to another. metonymy is conceptual in nature. entity 1 highlights an aspect of the same entity. In the cognitive linguistic view. Pragmatic function mappings are. There is a pragmatic function mapping between entity 1 and entity 2 (this would ensure that the two entities are within the same frame). What this second situation suggests is that we can highlight any aspect of a concept by an appropriate concept: either the same concept (inward-looking mapping) or a pragmatically linked other concept (outwardlooking mapping).” Entity 1 and 2 are concepts (subdomains) or. a difference in this regard between the cases where entity 1 and entity 2 are both concepts and where entity 1 is a concept while entity 2 is an aspect of a concept.

Norrick (1981) places the study of metonymy within a broader semiotic context. Some expressions can be interpreted as the mixed case of metaphor from metonymy. Perception icm. Kövecses and Radden (1998) and Radden and Kövecses (1999) attempt to offer a new synthesis in the cognitive linguistic treatment of metonymy. metaphor is primarily used to understand a whole system of entities in terms of another system. The relationships fall into two large configurations: Whole and Part and Part and Part. such as Thing icm. Given such distinctions. metaphor is based on similarity. 1988. and others. Kövecses (1986. Croft (1993) discusses the role of domains in the interpretation of metaphors and metonymies.192 METAPHOR I distinguish metaphor from metonymy in the following ways: (1) While metonymy is based on contiguity. Feyaerts (2000). and correlation. There may well be other such metonymic relationships on which metaphors are based. such as part of a thing for the whole thing and agent for action. are manifest in a variety of ICMs. 1990. Gibbs (1994) and Panther and Thornburg. metaphor occurs between concepts. Barcelona (2000a. Lakoff and Johnson (1980) point out the conceptual nature of metonymy. in a variety of publications (e. whole-part. (4) While metonymy occurs between concepts. Metonymy-producing relationships. (3) While metonymy is largely used to provide access to a single target entity within a single domain. 2000b). Certain metonymic relationships form the basis of many metaphors. Taylor (1989). Lakoff (1987). Thornburg and Panther . Lakoff and Turner (1989). that is. and Waldron (1967). Radden (2000). Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez (2000).. Causation icm. metaphor involves two distant domains. while others as mixes of metonymy within metaphor. as well as Action icm. Kövecses and Szabó (1996) examine metonymies relating to the concept of the human hand and attempt to place the study of metonymy and metaphor in the context of foreign language learning and teaching. FURTHER READING The traditional view of metonymy can be found in such works as Stern (1931). and Complex event icm. 1993) have placed the study of metonymy in a new light. (2) While metonymy involves a single domain. Goosens (1990) examines the way particular linguistic expressions can be both metaphors and metonymies in expressions of linguistic action. we can arrive at a prototype characterization of metonymy. Dirven (1993). Constitution icm. 2000a) examines the metonymic and metaphoric structure of emotion concepts. We can distinguish between outward-looking and inward-looking metonymies. and Turner and Fauconnier (2000) deal with the issue of the relationship between metaphor and metonymy. Ullmann (1962). on elements that are parts of the same ICM. Metaphors and metonymies often interact in particular linguistic expressions. Discussed in this chapter are several metonymic relationships that can lead to the development of conceptual metaphors. We can conceive of metonymy as a through-mapping.g. The most detailed and the clearest discussion of metaphor and metonymy as distinct but related “tropes” is Gibbs (1994). and Langacker (1991. These include causation. as well as between linguistic forms and concepts and between linguistic forms and things/events in the world. A through-mapping can be either a relationship of reference or that of highlighting.

You are the sunshine of my life. Brdar and Brdar-Szabó (2003). eds. (f) Clinton approved of the extension of NATO to Eastern European countries. EXERCISES 1. (b) John wants to have an Opel. 2003. Radden (2005) looks at the issue of the omnipresence of metonymy. Try to group them under the conceptual metonymies discussed in the chapter. (a) (b) (c) (d) The 10:50 was full. Recent thinking on metonymy is summarized by Panther and Thornburg (2007). He stood tall as he received the prize. Ruiz de Mendoza and Peña Cervel. Susie is the joy of her parents. and 2005). He blushed with joy. Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez and his colleagues have produced valuable work on metonymy in several publications (Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez and Otal Campo. I was petrified. eds. Panther and Thornburg 2000). 2. BrdarSzabo (2007). A volume edited by Panther and Radden (1999) offers a panoramic view of how metonymy is treated in cognitive linguistics. (e) Capitol Hill didn’t ratify the new bill. Barcelona (2008) is a thought-provoking paper on metonymy that raises several key issues in connection with a theory of metonymy. Kalisz (2007) raises the radical possibility that all linguistic expressions are metonymic. The soccer player was an animal yesterday.ANOTHER FIGURE: METONYMY 193 1997. (c) The drum played awfully yesterday. (a) Sylvia loves Van Gogh. Paradis (2004) raises the issue of the borders of metonymy. . (2007). 2005). Additional papers by him include Barcelona (2002a. Decide which of the following is a metonymy and which is a metaphor with the help of the “is like” test. Peirsman and Geeraerts (2006) discuss metonymy as a prototypical category. 3. What metonymies are at work in the expressions below? What general conceptual metonymy underlies all of them? (a) (b) (c) (d) Don’t get hot under the collar. 2003b) explore various aspects of metonymy in a cross-cultural perspective. Panther and Thornburg. Recent collective volumes that explore a variety of issues in connection with metaphor and metonymy are Dirven and Pörings. 2002b. (2003) is a collection of papers on pragmatic inferences in metonymy. (2002) and Kosecki. brought to our attention the essentially metonymic nature of speech acts. ed. Panther and Thornburg (2004) study the role of conceptual metonymy in meaning construction. and Brdar-Szabó and Brdar (2003a. Look at the following metonymies. (d) 10 Downing Street isn’t saying anything. 2002.

(b) His fist hit me. What meaning difference do you recognize between the following sentences? (a) He hit me. Find other such cases. some metonymies make use of the “active zone” phenomenon. his rival was sure to go down without grace. (g) I am madly in love. .194 METAPHOR (e) He carries some heavy baggage in his life. (c) Billy the Kid fell at an early age. (f) Our company wants good heads in top positions. 5. 4. (h) This scandal may become another Watergate. As we saw. there is often a difference in meaning. when he cheated on her. when the “active zone” is used directly. but whenever he pulled the trigger. Identify the conceptual metaphors and/or conceptual metonymies you find in the following sentences. Interestingly. (b) He pushed her far away. (a) Burger King seems to be winning the battle with McDonald’s.

considering that there are more than four thousand languages spoken currently around the world. Some Metaphors for HAPPINESS Let us begin with some metaphors for happiness in English. here they are again: being happy is being off the ground being happy is being in heaven happy is up happiness is light 195 . With further research. I’ve chosen some conceptual metaphors from English and will check their occurrence in some genetically unrelated languages. There are a number of these in chapters 7 and 8. For this chapter. A 1. If we find that the same conceptual metaphor does occur in several unrelated languages. we are faced with an additional question: Why does this conceptual metaphor exist in such different languages and cultures? This is one of the most interesting issues that the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor should be able to say something about.13 The Universality of Conceptual Metaphors re there any conceptual metaphors that can be found in all languages and cultures? This is an extremely difficult question to answer. we can then verify or disprove the universality of these metaphors. In this way. certain hypotheses can be proposed concerning the universal or nonuniversal status of the metaphors. To recall. If they do occur. we can set up a hypothesis that they may be universal. Our best bet to begin to understand this issue is to look at some conceptual metaphors that one can find in some language and then check whether the same metaphors exist in typologically very different languages.



happiness is vitality happiness is a fluid in a container happiness is a captive animal happiness is an opponent happiness is a rapture a happy person is an animal (that lives well) happiness is a pleasurable physical sensation happiness is insanity happiness is a natural force

Of these, three are especially important for conceptualizing happiness in English: the metaphors that employ the concepts of up, light, and a fluid in a container. In one study, the Chinese linguist Ning Yu (1995, 1998) checked whether these metaphors also exist in the conceptualization of happiness in Chinese. He found that they all do. Here are some examples that he described: (Yu used the following grammatical abbreviations: PRT = particle; ASP = aspect marker; MOD = modifier marker; COM = complement marker; CL = classifier; BA = preposition ba in the so-called ba-sentences; ACC = accusative.)
happy is up Ta hen gao-xing. he very high-spirit ‘He is very high-spirited/happy.’ Ta xing congcong de. he spirit rise-rise PRT ‘His spirits are rising and rising. / He’s pleased and excited.’ Zhe-xia tiqi le wo-de xingzhi. this-moment raise ASP my mood ‘This time it lifted my mood/interest.’ happiness is light Tamen gege xing-gao cai-lie. they everyone spirit-high color-strong ‘They’re all in high spirits and with a strong glow. / They’re all in great delight.’ Ta xiao zhu yan kai. he smile drive color beam ‘He smiled, which caused his face to beam. / He beamed with a smile.’ happiness is a fluid in a container Ta xin-zhong chongman xiyue. he heart-inside fill happiness ‘His heart is filled with happiness.’ Ta zai-ye anna-buzhu xin-zhong de xiyue. she no-longer press-unable heart-inside MOD happiness ‘She could no longer contain the joy in her heart.’



The same metaphors also occur in Hungarian:
happy is up Ez a film feldobott. this the film up-threw-me ‘This film gave me a high. / This film made me happy.’ Majd elszáll a boldogságtól. almost away-flies-he/she the happiness-from ‘He/she is on cloud nine.’ happiness is light Felderült az arca. up-brightened the face-his/her ‘His/her face brightened up.’ Deru alkat. ˝s he/she bright personality ‘He/she has a sunny personality.’ happiness is a fluid in a container Túlcsordult a szíve a boldogságtól. over-flow-past the heart-his/her the happiness-from ‘His heart overflowed with joy.’ Nem bírtam magamban tartani örömömet. not could-I myself-in hold joy-my-ACC ‘I couldn’t contain my joy.’

English, Chinese, and Hungarian are three typologically completely unrelated languages and represent very different cultures of the world. The question arises: How is it possible for such different languages and cultures to conceptualize happiness metaphorically in such similar ways? Three answers to the question suggest themselves: (1) it has happened by accident; (2) one language borrowed the metaphors from another; and (3) there is some universal motivation for the metaphors to emerge in these cultures. I will opt for the third possibility, although the other factors cannot be ruled out completely, either. To see why this is a reasonable option, let us focus on variants of a single conceptual metaphor that have been studied extensively in recent years. First, I show that some metaphors are at least near-universal. Second, I suggest that these near-universal metaphors share generic-level structure. Third, I claim that their (near-)universality arises from universal aspects of the human body.

2. The Case of the CONTAINER Metaphor for Anger A metaphor that has received considerable attention in cross-cultural studies is anger is a hot fluid in a container, which was first isolated and analyzed in English. Let us look at this metaphor and see whether



researchers have found something like it in a variety of unrelated languages, including English, Hungarian, Japanese, Chinese, Zulu, Polish, Wolof, and Tahitian.

2.1. English As noted in chapter 9, in English the conceptual metaphor in question is characterized as anger is a hot fluid in a container. To recapitulate, consider the following examples:
You make my blood boil. Simmer down! Let him stew.

All of these examples assume a container (corresponding to the human body), a fluid inside the container, and the element of heat as a property of the fluid. It is the hot fluid or, more precisely, the heat of the fluid that corresponds to anger. That this is so is shown by the fact that lack of heat indicates lack of anger (as in “Keep cool”). Moreover, as discussed in chapter 9, the hot fluid metaphor in English gives rise to a series of metaphorical entailments. This means that we carry over knowledge about the behavior of hot fluids in a closed container onto the concept of anger. Thus we get:
When the intensity of anger increases, the fluid rises: His pent-up anger welled up inside him. Intense anger produces steam: Billy’s just blowing off steam. Intense anger produces pressure on the container: He was bursting with anger. When anger becomes too intense, the person explodes: When I told him, he just exploded. When a person explodes, parts of him go up in the air: I blew my stack. When a person explodes, what was inside him comes out: His anger finally came out.

Let us now see whether this metaphor, or something like it, can be found in other languages and if it can, how it is expressed and which entailments it gives rise to.

2.2. Hungarian The Hungarian version of the container metaphor also emphasizes a hot fluid in a container. The Hungarian metaphor anger is a hot fluid in a container differs from the English one in only minor ways. (From here onward, I give only the English translations—literal or idiomatic—of the



non-English linguistic examples. The literal translations—if they are available—are in square brackets.)
[boiled in-him the anger] Anger was boiling inside him. [seethe the anger-with] He is seething with anger. [almost burst the head-his] His head almost burst.

The only difference in relation to English seems to be that Hungarian (in addition to the body as a whole) also has the head as a principal container that can hold the hot fluid. As can be seen in the following examples, most of the entailments of the hot fluid in a container metaphor also apply to Hungarian.
When the intensity of anger increases, the fluid rises [up-piled in-him the wrath] Wrath built/piled up in him/her. [up-welled in-him the wrath/anger] Anger welled up inside him/her. Intense anger produces steam [completely in-steamed-he/she] He was all steam. [smoked in-himself/herself] He was fuming alone / by himself/herself. Intense anger produces pressure on the container [almost apart-burst-him/her the anger] His anger almost burst him/her. [almost apart-exploded-he/she anger-in] He/she almost exploded with anger. [hardly could-he/she himself/herself-in to hold anger] He/she could hardly hold his/her anger inside. When anger becomes too intense, the person explodes [burst-he/she anger-in] He/she burst with anger. [apart-exploded-he/she anger-in] He/she exploded with anger. [not tolerate-I out-bursts-your] I do not tolerate your outbursts. When a person explodes, parts of him go up in the air [the ceiling-on is already again] He/she is on the ceiling again. When a person explodes, what was inside him comes out [out-burst from-inside-him/her the anger] Anger burst out of him/her. [out-burst-he/she] He/she burst out.

2.3. Japanese Keiko Matsuki (1995) observed that the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor also exists in the Japanese language. One property that distinguishes the Japanese metaphor from both the English and the Hungarian ones is that, in addition to the body as a whole, the stomach/ bowels area (called hara in Japanese) is seen as the principal container for the hot fluid that corresponds to anger. Consider the following Japanese examples:



The intestines are boiling. Anger seethes inside the body. Anger boils the bottom of the stomach.

Some of the metaphorical entailments are also the same as in English and Hungarian:
when the intensity of anger increases, the fluid rises [anger in my mind/inside me was getting bigger] My anger kept building up inside me. intense anger produces steam [she with steam/steaming up was angry] She got all steamed up. [out of his head smoke was coming/pouring out] Smoke was pouring out of his head. intense anger produces pressure on the container To be unable to suppress the feeling of anger. [I anger suppressed] I suppressed my anger. Blood rises up to the head. when anger becomes too intense, the person explodes My mother finally exploded. [“patience bag” tip/end was cut/broken/burst] His patience bag burst. [anger exploded] My anger exploded.

The entailments that do not carry over in the case of Japanese are “when a person explodes, parts of him go up in the air” and “when a person explodes, what was inside him comes out.” This finding may be due to insufficient linguistic evidence. What is clear, though, is that Japanese does have the first four of the entailments, the fourth being “the explosion corresponding to loss of control over anger.” Indeed, the others that follow this entailment in the sequence may be regarded as mere embellishments on the notion of loss of control. 2.4. Chinese Chinese offers yet another version of the container metaphor for the Chinese counterpart of anger (nu in Chinese). The Chinese version makes use of and is based on the culturally significant notion of qi. Qi is energy that is conceptualized as a gas (or fluid) that flows through the body and that can increase and then produce an excess. This is the case when we have the emotion of anger. Brian King (1989) isolated the “excess qi” metaphor for anger on the basis of the following examples: (King uses the following grammatical abbreviations: POSS = possessive, NEG = negative.)
anger is excess qi in the body [heart in POSS anger qi] the anger qi in one’s heart



[deep hold qi] to hold one’s qi down [qi well up like mountain] one’s qi wells up like a mountain [hold back one stomach qi] to hold back a stomach full of qi [pent up at breast POSS anger qi finally explode] the pent up anger qi in one’s breast finally explodes [NEG make spleen qi start make] to keep in one’s spleen qi

First, it may be observed that in Chinese anger qi may be present in a variety of places in the body, including the breast, heart, stomach, and spleen. Second, anger qi seems to be a gas or fluid that, unlike in English, Hungarian, and Japanese, is not hot. Its temperature is not specified. As a result, Chinese does not have the entailment involving the idea of steam being produced. Third, anger qi is a gas or fluid whose build-up produces pressure in the body or in a specific body organ. This pressure typically leads to an explosion that corresponds to loss of control over anger.

2.5. Zulu The Zulu version of the container metaphor was described by John Taylor and Thandi Mbense (1998). They offer the following examples: (Taylor and Mbense use the following grammatical abbreviations: SC = subject concord; PERF = perfect (recent past); PAST = (remote) past; LOC = locative morpheme; MIDDLE = middle-forming (detransitivizing) morpheme; APPL = applicative morpheme; ASP = aspectual marker; FUT = future marker; IMP = imperative; INF = infinitive (nominalizing morpheme).)
anger is in the heart [this-person SC-with-heart long] ‘This person has a long heart, i.e., “He is tolerant, patient, rarely displays anger.” [he-with-heart small/short] He has a small/short heart, i.e. “He is impatient, intolerant, bad-tempered, prone to anger.” [heart SC-say-PERF xhifi I-him-see] My heart went ‘xhifi’ when I saw him, i.e., “I suddenly felt hot-tempered when I saw him.” [it.PAST-say ‘fithi’ heart-LOC] It went ‘fithi’ in the heart, i.e., “I suddenly felt sick/angry.” [I.PAST-him-tell then he.PAST-inflate-MIDDLE] When I told him he inflated. [he-PAST-be.angry he.PAST-burst] He was so angry he burst/exploded.

The Zulu container metaphor is somewhat “deviant,” in that it is primarily based on the heart, and that the things that cause pressure in the container are the variety of emotions that are produced by the events of daily life. When there is too much of these emotions in the heart, people are “inflated” and are ready to “burst.” A person with a “small/short heart” is more likely to lose control than one with a “long heart,” as the first two examples show.

of the metaphor include: (1) the container with the substance in it Þ the angry person’s body (2) the substance (fluid. gas.” The existence of this metaphor indicates that Wolof has something like the container metaphor as a possible conceptualization of the counterpart of anger. The major correspondences. When he gets filled up he will begin to spill over. 2. I have left out special Polish diacritic marks): (Mikolajczuk uses the following grammatical abbreviations: NOM = nominative. either with or without heat. Wolof Pamela Munro (1991) notes that in Wolof. LOC = locative. an African language spoken in Senegal and Gambia. 2.202 METAPHOR 2. the word bax means “to boil” in a literal sense. INSTR = instrumental. Agnieszka Mikolajczuk (1998) offers the following examples (in transcribing the Polish examples. Robert Levy (1973) quotes a Tahitian informant as saying: “The Tahitians say that an angry man is like a bottle. 3.” This saying again indicates that the concept of anger is conceptualized in Tahitian as being a fluid in a container that can be kept inside the container or that can spill out.) anger is a hot fluid in a container [bile/anger-NOM itself in him-LOC boil] he is boiling with rage [burst exasperation-INSTR] to burst with anger As the second example indicates. GEN = genitive.6. the container metaphor is present in Polish as well. It is also used metaphorically in the sense of “to be really angry. or mappings. Polish Although marginally.7.8. where anger is conceptualized as a force inside a container. The Structure of the PRESSURIZED CONTAINER Metaphor for Anger Notice that what is common to these container metaphors is that the container is a pressurized container. Tahitian Tahitian can serve as our final illustration of a culture. the notion of pressure is also a part of this metaphor in Polish. For example. objects) Þ the anger in the pressurized container (3) the physical pressure in the Þ the potentially dangerous container social or psychophysiological force of the anger .

and so forth.THE UNIVERSALITY OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 203 (4) the cause of the pressure (5) the control of the physical pressure (6) the inability to control the physical pressure Þ the cause of the dangerous force Þ the control of the social or psychophysiological force Þ the inability to control the dangerous social or psychophysiological force These are the mappings that play a constitutive role in the construction of the basic structure of the folk understandings of anger and its counterparts in different cultures. as linguistic usage suggests. Japanese. they respond physiologically to certain situations (causes) in the same ways. Japanese. and Chinese people appear to have similar ideas about their bodies and seem to see themselves as undergoing the same physiological processes when in the state of anger. internal pressure. They all view their bodies and body organs as containers. The “cause. They seem to share certain physiological processes.. and redness in the neck and face area (as a possible combination of pressure and heat). Englishspeaking. including body heat. Wolof. ikari. Hungarian. Hungarian. nu. Zulu.e. And. Without these mappings (i. and Tahitian produce a remarkably similar shared metaphor—the pressurized container metaphor for anger and its counterparts? The reason is that. The Emergence of the Same CONTAINER Metaphor for Anger How do such different languages and cultures as English. But now a new question arises: How does the pressurized container metaphor come into the picture in all these different languages and cultures in the first place? 4. it is difficult to see how anger and its counterparts could have acquired the structure they seem to possess: a situation producing a force inside a person and then the force causing the person to act in certain ways that should be suppressed. force. also as linguistic evidence suggests. Polish. düh. Through its detailed mappings. imposing the schematic structure of how the force of a fluid or gas behaves in a container onto anger). Chinese. forced expression” structure remains a mystery and a completely random occurrence without evoking the pressurized container metaphor. The claim here is a conceptual one and is based on the linguistic examples that follow. The examples cluster together and reveal the following underlying conceptual metonymies: . the metaphor provides a coherent structure for the various “anger-like” concepts in the different languages.

Chinese My face was pepperily hot with anger. Hungarian hotheaded heated argument Polish [white fever] ‘high fever’ [gall itself in sb-LOC boils] sb’s blood boils Zulu [he. I almost burst a blood vessel. . Hungarian [cerebral-hemorrhage gets] will have a hemorrhage [up-goes in-him the pump] pressure rises in him [up-went the blood-pressure-his] His blood pressure went up.PAST-feel it-become. Chinese [qi DE brain full blood] to have so much qi that one’s brain is full of blood [break stomach skin] to break the stomach skin from qi [lungs all explode] one’s lungs explode from too much qi Japanese [he due to blood pressure to keep going up] My blood pressure keeps going up because of him. Tahitian [no data for body heat] internal pressure stands for anger English Don’t get a hernia! When I found out. Billy’s a hothead. your blood pressure will go up. [like that get angry blood pressure to go up] Don’t get so angry.up-PERF blood] My heart is full of blood.PAST-be.hot blood] I felt my blood getting hot. They were having a heated argument. [I. made me angry. Japanese [my head get hot] My head got hot.hot-INTENSIFIER] He was really hot. Wolof [to be hot] to be bad-tempered [he heated my heart] He upset me. [head cool should] You should cool down. Polish [heart oneself] to storm [explosion-NOM anger-GEN] blaze of anger Zulu [heart my SC-fill.204 METAPHOR body heat stands for anger English Don’t get hot under the collar.

PAST-be.. Tahitian [no data] Wolof [no data] English. and. and they also talk about it metonymically. Internal pressure is present in English.PAST-choke] He was so angry he choked. Wolof. The fact that Chinese does not have a large number of metonymies associated with body heat may be responsible for the Chinese container metaphor not involving a hot fluid or gas. then. Hungarian. Japanese. All the languages seem to have the image of a pressurized container. Japanese [he red to be get angry] He turned red with anger. The physiological response “redness in the face and neck area” can be taken to be the result of both body heat and internal pressure. Chinese. with or without heat. Polish. Japanese. I propose. may be responsible for the pressure element in the container metaphors. This response seems to characterize English. and this. it is reasonable to assume that it is mainly blood (but also some other body fluids) that accounts for the fluid component in many of the container metaphors. to some degree. and Wolof container metaphors. Japanese. perhaps together with the idea of the felt warmth of blood. Chinese. and Zulu. Tahitian [no data] Wolof [no data] redness in face and neck area stands for anger English She was scarlet with rage. seems to be the cognitive basis for the heat component of the English. that conceptualized physiology (i.PAST-be-red] The chief went red (with anger).” Since the word for human blood is present in many of the linguistic examples noted. Many of the examples suggest that blood is often seen as producing an increase in blood pressure when angry.PAST-redden he. Hungarian. Zulu. together with muscular pressure and pressure in the lungs. Japanese.angry he. the conceptual metonymies) provides the cognitive motivation for people to conceptualize the angry person metaphorically as a pressurized container. and Zulu. Polish. There is no data for Tahitian and Wolof. The notion of subjective body heat. the conceptual metonymies make this particular conceptualiza- . Hungarian. although the Wolof word boy “to be red hot (of charcoal)” also means “to be really angry. Polish [scarlet out rage-GEN] scarlet with rage Zulu [chief he. Polish.THE UNIVERSALITY OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 205 [he. He got red with anger. Hungarian. Chinese as well seem to share the notion of an increase in body heat in anger. Chinese [he face all red eyes emit fire come] His face turned red and his eyes blazed. We do not have data for internal pressure in Tahitian and Wolof. Put in linguistic terms. Hungarian [red became the head-his] His head turned red.e.

It is thus not surprising that it is characterized by at least one near-universal metaphor at the generic level. cause. it is difficult to see how such a surprisingly uniform category (of pressurized container metaphors) could have emerged for the conceptualization of anger and its counterparts in very different languages and cultures.. the container metaphor). What about other concepts that are less likely to be grounded in the kind of physiological experience that anger is? I now turn to one such case. It is on the basis of this similarity that the metaphors in different cultures can be viewed as forming a category of metaphors. an increase in skin temperature is attributable to anger in both Americans and the Minangkabau. A major implication is that the embodiment of anger appears to constrain the kinds of metaphors that can emerge as viable conceptualizations of anger. are comprehended via a small set of physical concepts: location (bounded region).206 METAPHOR tion natural for people. and purpose. the conceptual metonymies) that might then lead to the similarity (though again not equivalence) in the metaphorical conceptualization of anger and its counterparts (i. Ekman and his colleagues (1983) provide ample evidence that anger does indeed go together with objectively measurable bodily changes such as increase in skin temperature. Without the constraining effect of embodiment. However. But how general can this explanation be? anger. P. pulse rate. and more intense respiration and that other emotions. a category that we have called the pressurized container metaphor.e. 5. This seems to be why similar container metaphors have emerged for this concept and its counterparts in a variety of different cultures.e. These studies were conducted with American subjects only. change. Let us recall this metaphor complex in English: . For example. The universality of actual physiology might be seen as leading to the similarities (though not equivalence) in conceptualized physiology (i. blood pressure. These findings give us reason to believe that the actual physiology might be universal. Event Structure in Chinese In chapter 11. action. and movement. Levenson and his colleagues (1992) extended their research cross-culturally and found that emotion-specific ANS (autonomic nervous system) activity is the same in Americans and the Minangkabau of West Sumatra. like fear and sadness. pointing out that different aspects of events. people in this culture will find the use of the pressurized container metaphor natural. such as state. it can be suggested.. force. is a concept that is deeply rooted in the human body. If conceptualized physiological responses include an increase in internal pressure as a major response in a given culture. I consider the Event Structure metaphor in some detail. go together with a different set of physiological activities.

. means are paths to destinations: [Tongzhou open-up new technology break new road] Tongzhou opened up new technology to break a new path. means are paths: She went from fat to thin through an intensive exercise program.. action is self-propelled motion: We’ve taken the first step.. causes are forces (controlling movement to or from locations) [these prop industries MOD formation bring-move ASP overall economy MOD development] The formation of these prop industries brought into motion (i.e. change is motion from one location to another [this project enter into motion] This project got into motion (i. difficulties are impediments to motion: [we should remove Hong Kong smooth transition road on MOD any obstacles] We should remove any obstacles on the road of Hong Kong’s smooth transition. changes are movements: He went crazy. [basic industries construction step into good state] The construction of basic industries stepped into a good state.e. long-term. difficulties are impediments: Let’s try to get around this problem. actions are self-propelled movements: [China quicken wipe-out poverty steps] China quickened steps toward wiping out poverty. Ning Yu (1998) investigated the possibility of the existence of the English Event Structure metaphor in Chinese. he richly documents the Chinese version of Event Structure. if not all. purposes are destinations: He finally reached his goals. . He read the leading Chinese daily newspaper and made note of the cases where he found something like the metaphors above in English. external events are large. purposeful activities are journeys: You should move on with your life. Here are some examples from Chinese: states are locations: [state-owned enterprises be located in fine state] The state-owned enterprises are in a fine state. who reaches prearranged destinations at prearranged times): . expected progress is a travel schedule: We’re behind schedule on this project. purposes are destinations (desired locations): [China PRT toward build new system realize modernization MOD goal advance] China is advancing toward the goal of building up a new system and realize modernization.THE UNIVERSALITY OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 207 states are locations: They are in love. gave impetus to) the development of the overall economy. causes are forces: The hit sent the crowd into a frenzy. Here I take just one or two of his examples to illustrate that the Event Structure metaphor really exists in Chinese and also to offer the hypothesis that it may actually be found in many. expected progress is a travel schedule (a schedule is a virtual traveler. moving objects: The flow of history . languages of the world. He discovered that the entire system works for Chinese as well! In his book. got started).

I add that these connections amount to “contiguities” in human experience and suggest that we can regard (many of) them as conceptual metonymies that have. In chapter 12. Simply. And similarly for . The physiological effects of anger can stand metonymically for the emotion of anger as such. and movement. then. but he marched forward bravely. Intuitively. This kind of contiguity in experience. The ICMs can be for actions. in which events are conceptualized as location. What. a subcategory (movement) stands for the category as a whole (event). and in it. the ICM in the background is that of causation. and so on. in the discussion of the experiential basis of conceptual metaphors. chopping thorns and cutting brambles. In his very long artistic career. purposeful activities are journeys: [I always follow ASP his artistic steps PRT his very-long MOD artistic careers in zigzags ups-and-downs very many but he march-forward-bravely chopthorns-cut-brambles remove one-after-another roadblocks walk out oneself MOD unique MOD artistic path] I was always following his artistic steps closely. it is mentioned that conceptual metaphors are often based on physical and cultural connections between two kinds of experience. force. or presuppose. We can. external events are large moving objects: [reform to China countryside bring-come ASP huge change] The reform brought tremendous change to the countryside in China. categories. However. and movement. this motivation does not apply to the Event Structure metaphor. which is seen as the cause in the ICM. causation. on the one hand. removing roadblocks one after another. there were so many zigzags and ups-and-downs. This would suggest that the potential universality of the Event Structure metaphor could not be motivated by such direct bodily experience as is the case for anger as discussed above. enables speakers of English and Chinese to metaphorically conceive of events and its dimensions in such similar ways as they do? In chapters 6 and 8. claim that there is a metonymic basis for the Event Structure metaphor. then. and location. on the other. Recall that this is a metonymic relationship. In the case of the container metaphor for anger discussed in this chapter. what can be suggested is that the major submetaphor (or central mapping) in this metaphor system is events are movements and that movement is a subcategory of events. force. the concept of event is a different kind of concept than anger in that it seems to have a less-obvious physiological basis. long-term. though not a bodily one. is called a “category-based” metonymic relationship in chapter 12. with a cause and effect structure. there is no causal link between events. and he walked out a unique artistic path of his own. Obviously. similar to many other cases. ICMs (idealized cognitive models) in the background.208 METAPHOR [import foreign intelligence make this province only use eight-year time finish-walking ASP convention need forty year then can finish-walking MOD way] Importing foreign intelligence enables this province to use only eight years to finish walking over the way that conventionally requires forty years’ walking.

we find that they are all individually motivated in some way. including the emotions. FURTHER READING Geeraerts and Grondelaers (1995) criticize the Lakoff and Kövecses (1987) study of anger and discuss the relationship of the present-day model of anger to the medieval “humoral” theory. It can be suggested that there are other kinds of correlations in experience that can motivate other metaphors. 1992) deal with various aspects of the physiology of emotion. cultural. Kövecses (1995b) replies to this challenge. However. category-based. not all metaphorical concepts have such clear bodily motivation (in the sense of physiological) as in the case of the pressurized container metaphor for anger. including the issues that physiology may distinguish among emotions and that this emotion-specific physiology may be universal. it would not be surprising to find that the metaphor occurs in most languages of the world. We showed in the case of the angry person is a pressurized container that the universality of this metaphor can be found at the generic level. Kusumi (1996) provides psychological evidence for the universality of anger metaphors. Anger seems to be conceptualized in a variety of unrelated languages as some kind of internal pressure inside a container. SUMMARY It is argued in this chapter that some conceptual metaphors may be universal. When a metaphorical concept has such an experiential basis. and other correlations. the angry person is a pressurized container. Given this relationship between the sources and the targets of the Event Structure metaphor. Ekman et al. King (1989) is a doctoral dissertation that describes in detail the Chinese conception of some emotion concepts from a cognitive linguistic perspective. Kövecses (1991a) analyzes the concept of happiness in English. and the event structure metaphor. The universality of such metonymic correlations may explain the universality of many conceptual metaphors. happiness is a fluid in a container. 1988) approaches emotions from a cognitiveanthropological perspective. it can be said to be embodied. Levy (1973) is a study of Tahitian culture. Matsuki (1995) looks at the Japanese conception . These include such metaphors as happiness is up. including anger. 1991. This finding would provide a great deal of cognitive motivation for this metaphor complex. Lutz (1987. The hypothetical universality of the pressurized container metaphor for anger and its counterparts appears to derive from certain universal aspects of human physiology. The Event Structure metaphor may also be motivated by correlations in experience.THE UNIVERSALITY OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 209 all the other mappings in the Event Structure metaphor. which can be viewed as metonymic in character. including perceptual. (1990. Levenson et al. (1983) deal with the issue of how autonomic nervous system activity distinguishes among emotions. happiness is light.

English (a) He has quite a sexual appetite. and Heine and Kuteva (2002). He is quite a piece of meat. Look at the following proverbs about love which are taken from various languages. since both languages make use of similar source domains. Lakoff and Johnson (1999) provide the most systematic and comprehensive statement on how meaning in general is embodied in human sensorimotor experience. it can be inferred that there are certain congruities between English and Chagga in the conceptualization of lust. Munro (1991) provides valuable linguistic data on anger in Wolof. On the basis of Michele Emanatian’s study of the concept and the metaphors of sex in Chagga. baby. In a series of fascinating studies. She’s frigid. He was burning with desire. (b) Italian: It is all one whether you die of sickness or of love. for example. Barcelona and Soriano (2004) contrast metaphorical conceptualization in English and Spanish. English: Love can melt the ice and the snow of the coldest regions. Emanatian (1995) provides a description of lust in Chagga. (b) I’ve got the hots for her. 1997). Japanese: For lovesickness there is no medicine.210 METAPHOR of anger. See. EXERCISES 1. happiness. English: No herb will cure love. A book-length discussion of the universality-variation issue in metaphor is Kövecses (2005). literally. The thought of Gina in that black skirt made him even hungrier. Taylor and Mbense (1998) contrast the Zulu conception of anger with that found in English. as well as in the brain. time. Heine et al. (1991) and Heine (1995. Mikolajczuk (1998) describes anger in Polish. In several more recent publications. Philippine: Too much love causes heartbreak. hundreds of languages. For an overview of his research. Heine and his colleagues examine the metaphorical conceptualization of several concepts and basic grammatical constructions in. see Yu (2008). Yu deals with the issue of universality and variation in metaphor. Figure out the similar metaphors present in both English and Chagga. and Event Structure in English with their counterparts in Chinese. 2. You look juicy. using metaphor analysis. Can you find any common conceptual metaphors underlying them? (a) French: One grows used to love and fire. Yu (1995. . 1998) contrasts the metaphorical conception of anger. Swedish: Love or fire in your trousers is not easy to conceal. Özçalıskan (2004) compares time metaphors ¸ in English and Turkish in the metaphor acquisition process. Don’t be cold to me.

Chinese (1) Don’t provoke me to shoot fire. (6) To hold one’s qi down. (15) You’re beginning to get to me. and (c) below. (2) You’re adding oil to the fire. (14) I had reached the boiling point. The following are literal translations of metaphorical linguistic expressions used in Chinese. (b). (11) She was brimming with rage. (7) To restrain one’s anger. (5) To possess anger qi in one’s heart. (26) He is always roaring like the sea. (21) There’s a great storm inside. (18) He got all steamed up. (12) When he gets angry. (8) He was submerged by anger. (20) I almost burst from anger. (16) He’s a pain in the neck. he goes bonkers. (13) Your insincere apology just added fuel to the fire. then fill in the table according to the instructions in (a). and Zulu to describe anger. (4) He is inflated with gas. (3) You’re gassing/pumping me up. (22) He is foaming at the mouth. (10) He was growling with rage. Read them carefully. (23) She’s raging mad. Japanese (27) Anger spreads all over the body like violent waves. (19) He was seething/fuming with anger. Hungarian. English (9) He was battling his anger.THE UNIVERSALITY OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 211 Chagga (i) ngi’kúndiimlya [I want to eat her] ® to have intercourse with her ngi’ichuo njáa (ia mndu mka) [I feel hunger (for a woman)] ® be desirous ngi’ndépfúlá wundo wóó lýo [I am going to look for a little something to eat] ® to find a sexual partner napfú’lié mruwa [She is searching for milk] ® desirous of sex (ii) nékehá [She burns] ® sexually desirable náwo(é ·mrike [She has warmth] ® sexually desirable kyambúya rikó lílya [Look at that oven] ® sexy woman nékechólóliá [She’s cold] ® lacks desirable sexual attributes 3. (25) He is angry like a hamster. (24) She couldn’t control her anger. Polish. Hungarian (17) His blood is boiling. Japanese. . (28) To get angry and crazy. English.

Table 13.1 LANGUAGES METAPHORS the body is a container for the emotions anger is fire anger is the heat of a fluid in a container anger is insanity anger is an opponent in a struggle anger is a dangerous animal the cause of anger is physical annoyance causing anger is trespassing anger is a burden anger is a natural force English Hungarian Chinese Japanese Polish Zulu .

(a) Use the translations above to fill in table 13. Polish (35) He looks as if a wasp had stung him. (39) She was angry like a wasp. (52) Why did he blow a gale? (53) You are sticking your finger into my eye. Terrible anger crawls around the eyebrows. Anger starts burning. anger is fire. (36) To pour out all bile/exasperation on somebody. (41) Somebody flings thunderbolts of anger. (37) He was seized with a fit of rage. (47) I felt my blood getting hot. (40) Anger overcomes somebody. I feel light after having expressed my anger. (42) There is an angry flame on his face.1: put a plus (+) sign if you have found a linguistic example for the metaphors—for example. (38) Venomous remarks. (48) He is burning with roaring flames. (50) The chief changed into a ferocious (carnivorous) animal. (43) Bile/anger is boiling in him. To fight against the rising anger. The intestines are boiling. Zulu (45) This person is full of anger. (44) A surge of anger flooded him. (49) He was raving mad with anger. (b) What do you think is the reason that some metaphors exist in all of the languages above? (c) What do you think is the reason that some metaphors exist in only some of the languages? . (51) He suddenly darkened / became overcast like the sky before a storm. (46) His heart has anger in it.THE UNIVERSALITY OF CONCEPTUAL METAPHORS 213 (29) (30) (31) (32) (33) (34) Anger gradually flows out.

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Range of Conceptual Metaphors There can be differences in the range of conceptual metaphors that languages and cultures have available for the conceptualization of particular target 215 . there will also be individual variation. or the other way around. In this chapter. Cross-Cultural Variation 1. there will also be cultural variation in metaphor and metonymy. Since I mainly used emotion concepts to demonstrate universal aspects of metaphor and metonymy. Emotions constitute an area where a considerable amount of research has been done on cultural variation in cognitive linguistics. I consider each of these possibilities. it is reasonable and convenient to deal with cultural variation by continuing to use mostly emotion concepts. How does this happen precisely and why? Given a particular abstract target domain. 1. in addition to universality. In general. what kind of variation can we expect in the metaphorical conceptualization of that domain? I suggest that the following are likely possibilities for cultural variation: (1) Variation in the range of conceptual metaphors and metonymies for a given target. (2) Variation in the particular elaborations of conceptual metaphors and metonymies for a given target. As a limiting case of within-culture variation. (3) Variation in the emphasis on metaphor versus metonymy associated with a given target. we can distinguish between two kinds of cultural variation: (a) cross-cultural (intercultural) and (b) within-culture (intracultural).1.14 Cultural Variation in Metaphor and Metonymy I t is to be expected that.

“belly”).” He sees this conceptual metaphor as a contrast to the (American) English metaphor being happy is being off the ground. Linguistic expressions in English do not seem to . “He’s just blowing off steam”). Zulu shares many conceptual metaphors with English. The heart metaphor conceptualizes anger in Zulu as leading to internal pressure since too much “emotion substance” is crammed into a container of limited capacity. and a number of Hungarian expressions mention how anger can affect the head and the brain. it is primarily associated with love. One metaphorical elaboration of this metaphor in English is that the hot fluid produces steam in the container (cf.216 METAPHOR domains. and the like. According to Ning Yu (1998). 1. For example. Chinese shares with English all the basic metaphor source domains for happiness: up. that it cannot have metaphors other than the ones we can find in English. two languages may share the same conceptual metaphor. where there is a burning substance inside a container. the person becomes extremely angry and typically loses control over his or her anger. toleranceintolerance. but the metaphor is elaborated differently in the two languages. When too many of these happen to a person. As we saw. for instance. The things that fill it up are other emotions that happen to a person in the wake of daily events. A metaphor that Chinese has. Now this particular elaboration is absent in.2. Hungarians also tend to use the more specific container of the head (with the brain inside) for the general body container in English in talking about anger. Matsuki (1995) observes that all the metaphors for anger in English as analyzed by Lakoff and Kövecses (1987) can also be found in Japanese. and so the conceptual metaphor anger is (in the) hara is limited to Japanese. This culturally significant concept is unique to Japanese culture. which does not exist in Chinese at all and which reflects the relatively “extroverted” character of speakers of English. One case in point is the Zulu metaphor that involves the heart: anger is (understood as being) in the heart. and fluid in a container. Elaborations of Conceptual Metaphors In other cases. This is what commonly happens in the case of emotion concepts as targets. This conceptual elaboration seems to be unique to Hungarian. In Zulu it applies to anger and patience-impatience. Zulu. English has anger is a hot fluid in a container. the application of this metaphor reflects “the more introverted character of Chinese. affection. When the heart metaphor applies to English. This does not mean. Hungarian shares with English the conceptual metaphors the body is a container for the emotions and anger is fire. is happiness is flowers in the heart. The body and the fire inside it are commonly elaborated in Hungarian as a pipe. At the same time. however. light. she points out that a large number of anger-related expressions group around the Japanese concept of hara (literally. but English does not.

crying (tears). and interference with accurate perception. nausea. Anger has desire (to harm) as a component. internal pressure. interference with breathing.” “the sky (= lightning) almost singed us. the major conventionally verbalized conceptual metonymies for anger in English include body heat. As discussed in chapter 13.4. perspiration. as when someone is said to be a wet blanket at a party. Brian King’s . One language-culture may have metonymies that the other does not have in a conventionalized linguistic form. This possible metaphorical entailment is not picked up by the English fire metaphor in the form of conventionalized linguistic expressions. Both English and Zulu have fire as a source domain for anger. in addition.CULTURAL VARIATION IN METAPHOR AND METONYMY 217 emphasize the head (or brain) to the same degree (except the expression to lose one’s head). Now these certainly exist in. Notice. but speakers of English may well understand them. that the metaphorical entailment is perfectly applicable to enthusiasm in English. but speakers of Zulu use. As observed in chapter 13. which can be found in the desire is hunger metaphor. at least as judged by the conventionalized linguistic expressions. for example.” or “why did he blow a gale?” These elaborations do not exist in English in conventionalized form. In the case of emotion concepts. given the shared conceptual metaphor. Elaborations of Metonymies But even the same conceptual metonymies vary cross-culturally in terms of their elaboration and the importance given to them. anger can be comprehended as a natural force. but not in association with anger. agitation. 1. Chinese culture appears to place a great deal more emphasis on the increase in internal pressure due to anger than on body heat. In both English and Zulu. 1. Most of these can also be found in English for some target domains. Range of Metonymies Not only conceptual metaphors but also conceptual metonymies can participate in producing cross-cultural variation. but Zulu elaborates the metaphor in a way in which English does not. conceptual metonymies are the linguistic descriptions of the physiological and expressive responses associated with an emotion. and inability to speak. illness. We can interpret Taylor and Mbense’s (1998) description in such a way as to suggest that in Zulu an angry person’s appetite can be so voracious that he eats food that is not even prepared or he does not even separate edible from inedible food.3. however. Zulu. In Zulu you can extinguish somebody’s anger by pouring water on them. The metaphor appears to exist in Zulu as well. This aspect of the metaphor is obviously missing from English. In Zulu you can say of an angry person that “the sky became dark with thunderclouds. But speakers of Zulu go much further in making use of this metaphor than speakers of English. but Zulu elaborates it in unique ways.

5. elaborates primarily on the eyebrows to talk about happiness. “are regarded as one of the most obvious indicators of internal feelings. Metonymy versus Metaphor Cultural-linguistic variation may arise from whether a language emphasizes metaphors or metonymies in its conceptualization of emotion. Broader Cultural Context The governing principles and key concepts will differ from culture to culture or from cultural group to cultural group.218 METAPHOR (1989) and Ning Yu’s (1995. 1998) data suggest that Chinese abounds in metonymies relating to pressure but not to heat. let us consider in some detail the near-universal pressurized container metaphor for anger in a variety of cultures. To demonstrate the effect of these differences on metaphor. we notice important differences in this metaphor across certain culture groups. As noted in chapter 13. employs primarily the intensity of the “light” of the eyes as a metonymic indicator of happiness: the verbs gleam. as Yu notes.1. languages vary in the ways in which they make use of the eyes in the conceptualization of emotion. Taylor and Mbense note that English uses primarily metaphors to understand the concept of anger. The conceptual metonymy of heat is recognized. as the work of King and Yu indicates. it is the classical-medieval notion of the four humors from which the Euro-American conceptualization of anger (and that of emotion in general) is derived. but it is not emphasized and elaborated. shine.” 1. Let us briefly look at these in turn. however. however. In addition. 2. Causes of Cross-Cultural Variation There appear to be two large categories of causes that bring about cultural variation in metaphor and metonymy. For example. The other is the natural and physical environment in which a culture is located. metonymic processes appear to play a larger role in the understanding of emotions in Chinese than in English. One is what we can call the broader cultural context. While the eyes are commonly viewed as the “window to the soul” in many cultures. and sparkle can all be used to describe a happy person. one in which the component of pressure is emphasized to the exclusion of heat. at a generic level. Chinese. Eyebrows in Chinese. glint. This seems to result in a particular kind of container metaphor. by this I simply mean the governing principles and the key concepts in a given culture. 2. while Zulu predominantly uses metonymies. English. But they also note that the application of the . At a specific level. this metaphor is similar across cultures. for example. Geeraerts and Grondelaers (1995) note that in the Euro-American tradition (including Hungarian).

and when it subsides and there is balance again. by the culture-specific concepts of the four humors. In other words. the belief on which traditional Chinese medicine is based. and medicine. hara. Obviously. primarily its vocabulary. the energy that flows through the body. ikari in Japanese. black bile.2.g. consequently. They were also believed to determine personality types (such as sanguine and melancholy) and to account for a number of medical problems. when a Japanese person keeps his anger under control. In turn. düh in Hungarian (the two representing European culture). The notion and the workings of qi is predicated on the belief that the human body is a homeostatic organism. the humoral view was a key component of the classical-medieval cultural context. by Lutz [1988]). The humoral view maintains that the four fluids (phlegm. The term honne is contrasted with tatemae. King and Yu suggest that the Chinese concept of nu (anger) is bound up with the notion of qi: that is. emotional) but also the philosophical and medical discourse of Chinese culture and civilization. there is anger (nu). the use of the humoral view as a form of cultural explanation extends far beyond anger and the emotions. and nu in Chinese—are explained in the respective cultures. Similarly. there seems to exist a culturally distinct set of concepts that is built around the concept of hara. truthful. the four emotion concepts—anger in English.e. that the broader cultural contexts account for many of the specific-level differences among the four emotion concepts and the pressurized container metaphor. then. Given a certain kind of habitat. yellow bile. In Japan. psychology. and they will . Truth. Thus. and qi. speakers living there will be attuned (mostly subconsciously) to things and phenomena that are characteristic of that habitat. It appears. yin and yang. And the conception of the body as a homeostatic organism seems to derive from the more general philosophical view that the universe operates with two complementary forces. Natural and Physical Environment The natural and physical environment shapes a language. it was also used to explain a variety of issues in physiology. which must be in balance to maintain the harmony of the universe. in an obvious way. e.CULTURAL VARIATION IN METAPHOR AND METONYMY 219 humoral doctrine is not limited to anger or the emotions. it shapes metaphors as well. he is hiding his private. In addition to being an account of emotional phenomena. in part. and the real self (called honne) constitute the content of hara. What accounts for the distinctiveness of the culture-specific concepts is the fact that the culture-specific concepts evoked to explain the emotion concepts are embedded in very different systems of cultural concepts and propositions (as pointed out. qi is embedded in not only the psychological (i. as Matsuki tells us. when qi rises in the body. real intentions. innermost self and displaying a social face that is called for in the situation by accepted standards of behavior.. and blood) regulate the vital processes of the human body. together with cures for them (like bloodletting). there is harmony and emotional calm. or one’s social face.. then. 2. Thus.

of the imaginative. saw wood. If this happens. there are no permanent clouds or shadows. . fly off the handle. In the description of “nature” metaphors.220 METAPHOR make use of these things and phenomena for the metaphorical comprehension and creation of their conceptual universe. sand. wire pulling. Dirven examined some Afrikaans newspapers and collected the common metaphors in them. slightly humorous phrase. Baugh and T. which he continues to show. and know-nothing. spoken in some parts of South Africa. he points out that the shared metaphors include images of water. One case in point is Dutch and its derivative language Afrikaans Dutch. lightning. and clouds and that “this is a picture of the typical natural setting of the Low Countries or any other more northern European country” (p. C. and many more. To it we owe to bark up the wrong tree. A. spelling bee and crazy quilt. heights and flattened or levelled-off rises or it may be a flat or hilly landscape. The English spoken in Britain was carried to North America by the settlers. In contrast to this relatively calm and serene natural atmosphere. with the breath of the country and . to face the music. The freshness and imaginative vigor of American English has been noted by many authors. to be on the fence. Afrikaans Dutch that are based on both animals of various kinds and forceful images of nature. René Dirven analyzes and describes this situation in his 1994 book Metaphor and Nation. light and shadow. 70). . 73) Another example is provided by English. this may contain mountains. Afrikaans metaphors. go on the warpath. The American early manifested the gift. wind. come out at the little end of the horn. we should expect to find differences between metaphorical conceptualization by speakers of the original language and that used by people who speak the “transplanted” version. bury the hatchet. p. stars. or when striking off a terse metaphor like log rolling. He wanted to see to what extent these metaphors are shared by Dutch speakers. earthquake. sidewalk. A good test case of this suggestion is a situation in which a language that was developed by speakers living in a certain kind of natural and physical environment was moved by some of its speakers to a new and different natural and physical environment. and lightning rod. he finds metaphors in new. Dirven writes: Afrikaans not only seems to have developed many more expressions based on the domain of nature. low-down. His study is a systematic comparison of common stock Dutch and new. . Cable provide a useful comment: He [the American] is perhaps at his best when inventing simple homely words like apple butter. all sorts of familiar animals provide the stereotypical images for human behaviour or appearances. to have an ax to grind. but the “clouds bulge heavily downwards”. but the new metaphors also depict a totally different scenery. (1994. Among them. A curious feature of Dutch nature metaphors is that they almost completely lack metaphors based on animals. used as grazing or farming land (= veld).

tremble. attached anger. Within-Culture Variation In this section.1. Victorian Americans used the “pressurized container” metaphor for anger. How can this within-culture variation be captured with the same conceptual machinery that was used to make generalizations about cross-cultural differences? 3. (1983. could shake. and the frontier experience in general. Of course physical symptoms could still be invoked. probably typically from metonymic to metaphoric understanding. We know from the research outside linguistics that the conceptualization of emotion is not the same. the American began his contributions to the English language. in other words. medical and popular alike. 3. dominant beliefs. but . Emotions. and sadness to bodily functions. But during the nineteenth century. 365) Many of these and other metaphorical expressions in American English owe their existence to the new landscape the settlers encountered. grow cold. Metonymy versus Metaphor As pointed out in the preceding discussion. they had clear somatic qualities: people were gripped by rage (which could. expand. Hearts. it was held. in which fluids and emotions alike. gave way to a more mechanistic picture.CULTURAL VARIATION IN METAPHOR AND METONYMY 221 sometimes of the frontier about them. There can be a shift from one to the other. This is a more difficult task than handling cross-cultural variation because there has been practically no work done on this aspect of emotion from a cognitive linguistic point of view. the symptoms harder to convey. for example. had physical stuff. and there is variation according to social factors and through time. hot blood was the essence of anger. And in the body-machine emotions were harder to pin down. fear had cold sweats. The same can apply to a single culture through time. historians increasingly realize. and different cultures may prefer one way of understanding emotional experience rather than the other. (1994. which emphasized less the bodily basis (the metonymic conceptualization) of anger (although it was obviously motivated by it). joy. 66–67) In other words. could pulse. pp. the many new activities they engaged in. but now only metaphorically. within a culture or society. In this way. p. the humoral conception of the body. not homogeneous. I am concerned with variation in the conceptualization of emotion that occurs within a culture. stop menstruation). the language of emotion may emphasize metaphoric or metonymic understanding of a given emotion. It is worth quoting in full what the historian Peter Stearns has to say about such a process in connection with the United States: Prior to the nineteenth century. Because emotions were embodied. Individual usage may vary.

Moreover. he writes: Another angry wife almost dies herself: her face reddens with rage. (1994. in Victorian times what we would identify today as romantic love was part of the concept of friendship between males. exhibit the same responses when in intense emotional states. 81–82). Analyzing descriptions of Victorian anger. while affection today is more commonly thought of in terms of warmth than (the heat of) fire. in their experimental studies of the emotions. pp. and insane behavior. young and old. In general. Friendship The conceptual metaphors for a given emotion can change through time within a given culture. physical agitation.3. we can easily identify aspects of the folk theory of the physiological effects of anger that is prevalent today: redness in the face. Indeed. The metonymies appear to remain roughly the same through time in a given culture. internal pressure. foam covers her lips. 3. 24) Despite the exaggerated character of the description. every vein swells and stands out. where people talked about love in relation to friendship. This came through clearly in the contemporary letters and journals that Peter Stearns studied: “In letters and journals they described themselves as ‘fervent lovers’ and wrote of their ‘deep and burning affection’ ” (1994. at least for the most part. like romantic love.1. Indeed. physiological responses associated with anger in the nineteenth century must have coincided largely with the ones that characterize the folk model today. as Stearns’s study shows. As we would expect. real universal physiology. and finally she falls as blood gushes from her nose and mouth. p.2. Alternative Conceptual Metaphors 3. the fire metaphor characterizes passions. it was always a more-subdued. there is some evidence for this in chapter 13 as regards cross-cultural variation. For example. less-intense form of love (affection) conceptualized as warmth that occurred. every nerve quivers. then it should not be the case that they vary a whole lot. either cross-culturally or within a culture (either through time or at the same time). in some interviews my students conducted in the United States. Ekman and Levenson and their colleagues found consistently that American men and women. This change shows that a metaphor that was conventionally associated with male friendship as fire . Conceptual Metonymy If it is true that conceptual metonymies of emotions reflect.3.222 METAPHOR allowed them to conceptualize their anger metaphorically as something in a container that could be channeled for constructive purposes. 3.

to highlight the rewards an individual should get from a relationship rather than the higher unity of the relationship itself” (1994. that the unity metaphor is completely forgotten. emphasizes exchange. Margaret Fuller as early as 1843. for instance. The ideal version reflects more traditional ideas about love. while the typical model more recent ones.. talk about “higher unity” and “the rewards an individual should get from a relationship” correspond to the unity and exchange metaphors. Importantly. these are the two metaphors that play a central role in the constitution of two major cultural models of love: “ideal love” and “typical love. more recent metaphor takes two wholes that are each not as complete as they could be. was recognized but not accepted by. . p. Apparently. This essence of the traditional conception of love. whereas the typical version mainly by economic exchange. love is viewed in two possible ways. Ann Swidler reaches a similar conclusion: In a successful exchange each person is enhanced so that each is more complete. (Quoted in Bellah et al. and more self-aware than before. Obviously. however. if only implicitly. Rather than becoming part of a whole.3. . Love Alternative conceptual metaphors may also be available for a given emotion simultaneously in a culture. 119) [italics added] In the passage. more autonomous. a couple. In her study of American love in the 1970s. 173). but in the process of the exchange they both become stronger. each person becomes stronger.” The ideal version of love is mainly characterized by the unity metaphor. This seems to be the case with two prevalent metaphors of love today: love is a unity and love is an economic exchange. The second. 119). p.CULTURAL VARIATION IN METAPHOR AND METONYMY 223 (through love) for the Victorians was dropped and replaced by a metaphorical source domain (warmth) indicating less intensity. In one.” If we enter love relationships to complete the missing sides of ourselves. In Swidler’s words: “The emerging cultural view of love . the exchange metaphor has become a prevalent metaphor in American culture. Stearns notes in this connection that after the Victorian period “[t]he sexual emphasis also tended. 1988. . then in some sense when the exchange is successful we have learned to get along without the capacities the other person had supplied. complete wholes. p. respectively. each gains the skills he was without and.2. thus strengthened. This does not mean.. there are two parts and only the unity of the two makes them a whole. 1988. There are many people in the United States who still use the unity metaphor as well. as in the two metaphors. What is valuable about a relationship is ‘what one gets out of it’ ” (quoted in Bellah et al. 3. is more “whole. whose meaning is complete only when both are together.

the angry person as incapable of any rational judgment. (1994. Stearns explains: American language continued to reflect incorporation of a pleasant but nonintense emotionality. as Stearns argues. 3. 3.4.” especially the world of business and large corporations. and we can’t go into all of them. 195) As a result.224 METAPHOR 3. the causes are numerous. the attacks on any form of anger. continued throughout the Depression period and the Second World War. The process (which started in the eighteenth century) of the separation of the emotion from the self and the body—that is.1. Women were supposed to be “anger-free. “Niceness” became a watchword for sales clerks . The new metaphoric image that became prevalent was that of the “pressure cooker waiting to explode. it was actually encouraged at the workplace and in the world of politics. But why did this “channeled anger” give way to the ideal of “anger-free” people or to the ideal of suppressing anger under all circumstances? Why did anger become a completely negative emotion? There were a variety of specific reasons. and love in American culture? The explanation comes from nonlinguistic studies of the broader cultural context. but. Anger As Peter Stearns notes in connection with Victorian emotionology. we can ask why in addition to the view of friendship in the Victorian period as almost love-like. while calm at home. there emerged a different. were expected to make good use of their anger for purposes of competition with others and for the sake of certain moral ends. Again.4. the “mechanization” of anger—was now completed.” and men. friendship. including juvenile delinquency. however. anger was not a permissible emotion in the home. including the following: New levels of concern about anger and aggression followed in part from perceptions of heightened crime. Friendship To turn to friendship. One of them. It was difficult.4. less-intense form of friendship called “friendliness” in American culture? Again. Broader Cultural Context But why did all these changes occur in the conceptualization of anger. leading to a global rejection of the emotion by the 1960s in mainstream culture. to view channeled anger as a safe or even useful emotional motivation.” This fully mechanical metaphor depicted anger as something completely independent of the rational self. is that there were demands for a “new emotionology” from outside the “private sphere. and the resulting angry behavior as extremely dangerous. p.2. in this context. which started around the 1920s. for men. and the results of untrammeled aggression in Nazism and then renewed world war.

. provided. According to Stearns. Soaring ideals and spirituality were largely absent. 172). .” an attribute that includes unusual discomfort with emotional outbursts on the part of those raised in different cultures where displays of temper might be more readily accepted. “nice” did have a meaning—it connoted a genuine effort to be agreeably disposed but not deeply emotionally involved while expecting pleasant predictability from others. I try . (1994. At the same time though. no emotion should gain control over one’s thought processes” (p. the new emotionology considerably “reduced tolerance to other people’s intensity. was the goal” (pp. pp. .5. And after the 1960s. Now. the overall result was that “[t]wentieth-century culture .” Although friendship for many Americans is an opportunity to talk out their problems. “intense emotion was also a sign of immaturity. not emotional intensity. the intensity of romantic love also declined. why did the conception of love change? But even before that happened. . Love Finally. In addition. 3. “Have a nice day” struck many foreigners— even neighboring Canadians—as a remarkably insincere phrase. couples hoped to find some of the same balm to the soul that religion had once. In American culture. The rational culture of the computer was in place. By 1936. possibly due to the influence of business and the rational organization of large corporations. as they dimly perceived. . 175–176). marriage manuals stressed the idea of “rational. Since there hasn’t been much work done on this issue. spiritualized passion. they noted that Americans did seem “nice. Rationality was emphasized in all walks of life. more concluded that true love was itself a religious experience” (p. . cooperative arrangements between men and women. Companionship. in the wake of increasingly loosening family ties and the ever-weakening importance of religion. relationships were regarded as “exchange arrangements in which sensible partners would make sure that no great self-sacrifice was involved” (p.4. why was romantic love so intense in the Victorian period to begin with? According to Stearns: “Hypertrophied maternal love increased the need for strong adult passion to aid products of emotionally intense upbringing in freeing themselves from maternal ties” (1994. Individual Variation Do metaphors vary from person to person? We know from everyday experience that they do.3.CULTURAL VARIATION IN METAPHOR AND METONYMY 225 and others in casual contact.” 3. . 292–293) Furthermore. 184). Romantic love ceased to be regarded “as the spiritual merger of two souls into one” (p. 66). p. p. together with the new and highly valued emotional attitude of staying “cool. 180). and it could be shunned on that basis” (1994. “in intense. 69). called for management across the board. . 245).

” Al Gore: “[Progress] takes teamwork. .” Bob Dole: “Everything before has been a warm-up lap. We can often observe that people use metaphors that derive from their major concerns in life. we notice that they often employ metaphors that come from their professional lives.2. This simply means the salient events and experiences in people’s lives. not on a partisan basis. It’s three yards and a cloud of dust. . It comes as no surprise then that all the candidates running for office in the 1996 campaign used sports metaphors— that is.” The fact that these politicians used sports metaphors is not particularly surprising for anyone who knows that most American politicians “live by” the politics is sports metaphor. and we’re going all the way. though. They have certain general concerns and interests (their professional activities as doctors). and they apply these to domains that call for source-to-target mappings. .5. At the same time. In San Diego the real race begins. Thus. conceptualizations of a variety of issues in terms of the source domain of sports. 3. . Personal History Another source for individual variation in the use of metaphor is personal history. What is interesting about this process is that expertise of whatever kind may lead to the exploitation of this expert knowledge. . a negative consequence may be that people who are not doctors may not be able to gain much from these metaphors because they do not have the necessary expertise to make sense of the doctor’s metaphors based on their professional activities as a revealing source domain. certain salient experiences in childhood or as students may influence the kinds of metaphors we use later on as adults. is why they use . . For example. I ask for your support.1. Consider as an example some of the metaphors that were used by American politicians in the course of their election campaigns in 1996.” Jack Kemp: “You’re the quarterback and I’m your blocker. It is well known that Americans have a great liking for sports. Here are some instances of this from a 1996 issue of Time: Bill Clinton: “Let’s don’t take our eye off the ball. but to rebuild the American economy.5. a trial heat. Human Concern One source of individual variation seems to be what can be termed human concern. as pointed out by an American journalist in Time magazine. 3.226 METAPHOR to offer some speculations about how and why individuals differ with respect to the metaphors they use. for example. The interesting issue. in listening to doctors talk about nonprofessional topics.

sadness. In light of our hypothesis above. happiness. given the cultural context and its influence on conceptualization. we can see why the changes take place in the cultural models and the conceptual metaphors. conceptual metaphors and metonymies and their cultural context can all be put to useful work in the study of cultural variation in the conceptualization of target concepts. SUMMARY In sum. Most cultural variation in conceptual metaphor occurs at the specific level. according to Time. universality in metaphor can be found at the generic level. in the half-mile. King (1989) and Yu (1995. As it turns out. Bokor (1997) describes several differences in the language and conceptualization of anger in English and Hungarian. and worry in Chinese. and often does. Moreover. 1998) deal with various emotion concepts. investigating the Afrikaans language. such as the emotions. Dirven (1994) is a book-length study of the relationship of language and social-geographical environment in South Africa. Kemp was a professional football player (playing quarterback) with the Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills. Kövecses (1988) is a detailed analysis of the most common love metaphors in everyday English. Geeraerts and Grondelaers (1995) describe the origin of the present-day conception of anger in English and point out that it derives from the classical-medieval humoral theory. we find a remarkable fit that indicates a close correlation between personal history and the metaphors used by individuals. They enable us to see with considerable clarity precisely where and how cultural variation occurs both cross-culturally and within a culture. Lutz (1988) studied various emotion concepts in Ifaluk. a Micronesian atoll.CULTURAL VARIATION IN METAPHOR AND METONYMY 227 so many different ones. Clinton has for a long time been an enthusiastic golfer. Stearns (1994) is a detailed study of the social history of emotions in the United States. Bellah et al. whereas. and basketball and was a record-holder in Russell. such as anger. containing an interesting metaphorical argument based on the love is a unity metaphor. Gibbs (1999) discusses the relationship between the conceptual and cultural worlds in connection with the role of conceptual metaphors in both. Boers (1999) shows how body-related metaphors we use for the socioeconomic domain may change . including the conception of love and marriage. we can provide an answer. (1985) is a large-scale study of the American worldview. Baugh and Cable (1983) is a history of English and offers insightful observations on American English metaphors. Gore was the captain of his high school football team. Kansas. football. Dole did track. Now if we match these activities with the actual metaphors used by the politicians. influence the choice of metaphors. as discussed in chapter 13. FURTHER READING Matsuki (1995) studied the Japanese concept of anger. Emanatian (1995) provides a description of lust in English and Chaga. Personal history may. The study of Zulu anger was done by Taylor and Mbense (1998). Fuller (1843) is one of the early feminist studies of love in the United States.

she’s gonna be a knockout. Consider the following examples and discuss the differences. using the primary metaphor versus complex metaphor distinction. (5) That guy preys on young women. 2005. This book contains many references to works that deal with this issue. I can’t believe the electricity between us. (a) (b) (c) (d) When she grows up. and heat as the most important domains. (2) She is a real tigress. Kövecses (2005) offers a somewhat different theory of metaphor variation in which he identifies the most common factors that lead to variation. Heine and Kuteva (2002) is a goldmine of examples for cross-linguistic differences. you have already encountered the examples showing the similar metaphors for sex in English and Chagga. and Kövecses (2003. (You can use what you already know about the Great Chain of Being metaphor as well): English (1) He is a wolf. Now consider other metaphors for the conceptualization of lust that are only present in English and were not mentioned above in connection with the Chagga understanding of sex (Emanatian’s examples). shapely (10) nái chá ndoro [She’s like a colobus monkey] ® soft. like animals. Balaban (1999) deals with the issue of which factors might play a role in the selection of metaphors related to knowledge. which use the source domains of eating. Chagga (6) ní kíte [She’s a dog] > promiscuous (7) kiambúya úlu(óí lyo [Look at that rooster] ® sexy young guy (8) apáá ‘táwó ngíleyetsi [Wow. Yu (2008) shows how metaphors derive from both the body and culture. but in different ways: the mappings.228 METAPHOR with the season in which we use them. Other metaphors in these two languages use similar domains. In chapter 13. In addition to these studies. . She is driving me insane. 2006) address various issues in cross-cultural differences. On the basis of the examples. (3) He is a beast. smooth 2. small. identify the new conceptual metaphors that you can find only in English. Maalej (2004) draws attention to the cultural basis of the concept of anger in Tunisian Arabic. Yu (2003). delicate. EXERCISES 1. or correspondences. We were drawn to each other. (4) She is always so horny. a fattened heifer] ® sexy young woman (9) nái chá ndoro [She is like a bushbaby] ® soft. and entailments may be different in these languages. hunger. Alverson (1994) is a cross-cultural comparison of the expression of time. Littlemore (2003). Deignan (2003). most of the works cited in chapter 13 offer important observations concerning the issue of cultural variation in metaphorical conceptualization.

In this chapter. The Columbia Encyclopedia). and analyze it in the light of his or her life experience. Name the conceptual metaphors that can account for these differences. Choose a speech or a talk from a politician or public figure you know well. 5. we briefly look at how the concept of marriage was understood in different periods of time. Find the metaphors that are present only in pornographic magazines. like romance novels and pornographic magazines. (a) (b) (c) (d) Identify the conceptual metaphors. (f) That guy is a sex-maniac. Find examples where the institution is understood differently in various cultures.CULTURAL VARIATION IN METAPHOR AND METONYMY 229 (e) What a sweet surrender it was. The examples are arranged in the order of frequency of the conceptual metaphors and thus illustrate the most often-used conceptual metaphors of the genres. An example of within-culture variation is provided by the differences between the major metaphors that are present in various genres. . Find the metaphors that are present only in romance novels. 3. What do the most frequent conceptual metaphors focus on in both genres? Examples from romance novels (i) his eyes smoldered with desire (ii) he prepared to satisfy their sexual hunger (iii) something exploded inside her at his kiss (iv) he lost the battle against his passion (v) she tried to hold on to her fleeing sanity (vi) she felt a delicious stirring of her senses (vii) she lost the battle (viii) he gave her a drugging kiss Examples from pornographic magazines (ix) he dipped a finger into her honey pot (x) she told him not to bother eating her pussy (xi) he grunted and groaned like an animal (xii) she pressed her hot lips to his (xiii) he found her overflowing (xiv) the scent of her heat drew him to it like a magnet (xv) a good fuck got her going 4. Look up the definition of marriage in different encyclopedias (for example. which make use of various linguistic expressions for lust. List individual metaphor variations that could have been prompted by their personal history. Following are some examples of metaphorical expressions of lust from each of these.

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phrasal verbs (e. grammatical idioms (e. I take up the issue of the theoretical and descriptive implications of the theory for the study of language in general. According to the traditional view. let alone).. they are taken to be items of the lexicon (i.e.. as easy as pie)..g. a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush). In the traditional view. and Idioms O f the many potential applications of the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor and metonymy to the study of language. In the next chapter.. If the cognitive linguistic view can significantly contribute to this area. I single out one in this chapter: the treatment of idioms. similes (e..1. They are assumed to be a matter of language alone.15 Metaphor. I have chosen idioms because this is a notoriously difficult area of foreign language learning and teaching.. as in “Christmas is coming up”). sayings (e. relative to the meanings of the forms that comprise it. idioms are regarded as a special set of the larger category of words. live it up). they have certain syntactic properties and have a meaning that is special.g.g. that is. in what we term the traditional view. 231 . come up.. 1.g. the mental dictionary) that are independent of any conceptual system. spill the beans). can be represented in diagrammatic form in figure 15. all there is to idioms is that. Although there are some notable exceptions to this general characterization.g.. the core conception of idioms. cats and dogs). idioms with it (e. and others. Metonymy.g. throw up one’s hands). it would clearly show the practical and applied linguistic potential of the theory of metaphor and metonymy I am outlining in this book. Most traditional views of idioms agree that idioms consist of two or more words and that the overall meaning of these words cannot be predicted from the meanings of the constituent words.g. similar to words.g. It involves metaphors (e. The Traditional View of Idioms The class of linguistic expressions that we call idioms is a mixed bag. metonymies (e.. pairs of words (e.

Idioms may be seen as standing in the same relationships.) Moreover. The bank robber snuffed out Sam’s life. consider the following examples that all involve an idiom with the word fire: He was spitting fire. then we just need to characterize their syntactic properties and meanings one by one. 2. . and antonymy. linguistic meaning is divorced from the human conceptual system and encyclopedic knowledge that speakers of a language share. (As in the diagram. Words are characterized in the lexicon one by one according to their syntactic properties and meaning. and the same is assumed to apply to idioms. Certain relationships between words are recognized. The painting set fire to the composer’s imagination. In the traditional view. Fire away! The killing sparked off riots in the major cities. Go ahead. not relations in a conceptual system. The speaker fanned the flames of the crowd’s enthusiasm. The fire between them finally went out. but these are only certain sense relations. however. synonymy. which follows from the previous view that idioms are simply a matter of language. It should be noticed. If they are just a matter of language. He was burning the candle at both ends. such as homonymy. I suggest that one major stumbling block in understanding the nature of idioms and making use of this understanding in the teaching of foreign languages is that they are regarded as linguistic expressions that are independent of any conceptual system and that they are isolated from each other at the conceptual level. that these are relations of linguistic meanings. meanings are given in single quotation marks.232 METAPHOR Figure 15. polysemy. The Cognitive Linguistic View of Idioms To see that the traditional view is mistaken. idioms are also taken to be independent of each other.1 Idioms in the traditional view.

This commonsense view is also shared by some applied linguists.g.g. (The metaphor fire away used above is not an idiom belonging to the domain of fire as such. hence. in nature. such as burn. idioms are products of our conceptual system and not simply a matter of language (i.. a matter of the lexicon). candle. no claim is made that. these latter kinds of idiomatic expressions are the most celebrated examples of idioms in the standard views. The kinds of mechanisms that seem to be especially relevant in the case of many idioms are metaphor. Understandably.g. The motivation for the occurrence of particular words in a large number of idioms can be thought of as a cognitive mechanism that links domains of knowledge to idiomatic meanings. and not linguistic. or perhaps most. Many.METAPHOR. we can rely on this knowledge to make sense of the meanings of idioms. As noted in chapter 6. I suggest that this kind of motivation should facilitate the teaching and learning of idioms. By providing them with cognitive motivation for idioms. the meanings of idioms can be seen as motivated and not arbitrary. we do not have conceptual motivation for the meaning of idioms at all (as in the case of the well-worn idiom kick the bucket). we have idioms that are related to various aspects of the phenomenon of fire. motivation is a much weaker notion than prediction. idioms (or. given the nonidiomatic meaning of an idiom (e. its end (snuff out). The individual words merely reveal this deeper process of conceptualization. spit fire). These and many other examples suggest that it is the conceptual domain (the concept) of fire—and not the individual words themselves—that participates in the process of creating idiomatic expressions. at least. and conventional knowledge. including its beginning (spark off ). METONYMY. we can entirely predict what the idiomatic meaning (e. who states: .. in addition to the word fire. In other words. learners of foreign languages should be able to learn the idioms faster and retain them longer in memory. AND IDIOMS 233 In this set of examples. As the examples suggest. the majority of them) are conceptual. several other words are used from the domain of fire. but it arises from our more general knowledge of the world embodied in our conceptual system. how it can be made more intense (fan the flames). snuff.. Irujo. and flame. how it makes use of an energy source (burn the candle at both ends). no claim is made that its meaning is fully predictable. like S. ‘emit sparks’ for the expression spark off). In other words. an important generalization can be made.2.. ‘begin’) will be that is associated with the words (e. The knowledge provides the motivation for the overall idiomatic meaning. as shown in figure 15.e. Motivation is to be distinguished from prediction. This goes against the prevailing dogma which maintains that idioms are arbitrary pairings of forms (each with a meaning) and a special overall meaning. An idiom is not just an expression that has a meaning that is somehow special in relation to the meanings of its constituting parts. and the danger it presents (fan the flames. it is an example of the argument is war metaphor. metonymy. When it is suggested that the meaning of an idiom is motivated. In some cases.) Given this analysis. If this is the case. spark and off ).

is what the precise nature of semantic transparency is in the case of idioms. in “The killing sparked off riots. That is. in the case of fan the flames. it is . which will help them learn the idiom. In the preceding examples. I believe that this more-specific concept of semantic transparency has important implications for teaching idioms. metonymy. My proposal is that the transparency. 2. anger is comprehended via the anger is fire conceptual metaphor. conventional knowledge) that I describe below. Idioms Based on Metaphor As has been seen throughout this book. The conceptual motivation for many idioms. p. in the case of snuff out. the domain of fire is used to understand a varied set of abstract concepts. What Irujo does not discuss.1. If they can figure out the meaning of an idiom by themselves. (1993. I use the term motivation for what Irujo calls semantic transparency.” it is imagination is fire. it is energy is fuel for the fire. or motivation. Teaching students strategies for dealing with figurative language will help them to take advantage of the semantic transparency of some idioms.234 METAPHOR Figure 15. in “The painting set fire to the composer’s imagination. In the expression spit fire. In the case of the sentence “The fire between them finally went out. they will have a link from the idiomatic meaning to the literal words. 217) Throughout this chapter. I return to this issue in section 2. it is life is a flame.2. the domain of fire is used to understand the domain of anger.2. But how do conceptual metaphors provide semantic motivation for the occurrence of particular words in idioms? To see this. however. let us again take some of the earlier examples.” it is conflict is fire. conceptual metaphors bring into correspondence two domains of knowledge.” the conceptual metaphor underlying the idiom is love is fire. of idioms arises from knowledge of the cognitive mechanisms (metaphor. and that these link idiomatic meanings to literal ones. in the case of burning the candle at both ends.

. The class of metaphorical expressions generated by conceptual metaphors is larger than that of metaphorical idioms. The flames are gone from our relationship. burn. She was fuming. Boy. anger is fire After the row. She carries a torch for him. and. Her imagination is on fire. imagination is fire The painting set fire to the composer’s imagination. ignite. I list these examples to be able to make the point that it is not claimed that all metaphorical linguistic expressions based on conceptual metaphors are idioms. . the number of metaphorical idioms produced by conceptual metaphors is quite large.g. given that idioms are multiword expressions by definition. he was spitting fire. They extinguished the last sparks of the revolution. He was burning with excitement. am I burned up! love is fire The fire between them finally went out. The story kindled the boy’s imagination. AND IDIOMS 235 enthusiasm is fire. METONYMY. I include some one-word metaphorical expressions in the examples. Smoke was coming out of his ears. The flames of war spread quickly. as the following examples show. Although strictly speaking not idioms (since they violate the condition that idioms are multiword expressions).METAPHOR. The country was consumed by the inferno of war. These idioms are not isolated linguistic expressions. enthusiasm is fire The speaker fanned the flames of the crowd’s enthusiasm. I need someone to stoke my fire. The team played so well that the crowd caught fire. conflict is fire The killing sparked off the riot. kindle). Her enthusiasm was ignited by the new teacher. I am burning with love. as will be shown shortly. His imagination caught fire. they do not count as idioms at all. energy is fuel for the fire Don’t burn the candle at both ends. He is smoldering with anger. It may be observed that some of the examples given below consist of only one word (e. Don’t be a wet blanket. Nevertheless. I am burned out.

hit the ceiling). the conceptual metaphors allow us to use terms from one domain (e.e. For example. spill the beans. that is.g. they have psychological validity. ‘fire’ (To be sure...g.. To do this. keep . Given these conceptual metaphors.g. I come back to some of the complexities concerning its meaning later. we can see why the idioms have the general meaning that they do. Now we are in a position to provide a specific illustration of figure 15.) Our ability to see many idioms as being conceptually motivated (i. What has to be shown now is that the conceptual metaphors really exist in the minds of speakers. fire. and is inseparable from. imagination. the meaning of spit fire is more complex than just ‘be very angry’. the (metaphorical) conceptual system... anger (e.2 in the preceding section. Gibbs and J. blow your stack. love. The general meaning of many idioms (i. This tacit knowledge is easiest to recover if we examine speakers’ mental images for idioms in detail. flip your lid. let the cat out of the bag. The idioms that employ these terms (such as those of fire) will be about certain target domains (such as anger) as a result of the existence of conceptual metaphors (such as anger is fire). O’Brien (1990) investigated the conventional images and knowledge that people have when asked to form mental images of idioms. go out.236 METAPHOR These conceptual metaphors can be seen as conceptually motivating the use of words such as spark off. fan the flames. go to pieces). secretiveness (e. anger and love). as having the general meaning they do) arises from the existence of conceptual metaphors. American psycholinguist Ray Gibbs (1994) has found that conceptual metaphors have psychological reality and that they motivate idiomatic expressions. and so on in the idioms in which they occur.g. There is independent (i.. blow the whistle). It is claimed that the meaning of many (though not all) idioms depends on. and so on. and that they have conceptual reality.. lose your marbles.. fire) to talk about another (e. respectively. what concepts they are about) remains completely unmotivated. burn the candle. The results of Gibbs’s studies show that people have tacit knowledge of the metaphorical basis for many idioms. Because of the connections they make in our conceptual system.g.g. unless we take into account the interplay between meaning and our conceptual system as comprised by conceptual metaphors to a large extent. that is. I take the idiomatic expression to spit fire as an example: Special idiomatic meaning: Cognitive mechanisms: Conceptual domain(s): Linguistic forms: Meanings of forms: ‘be very angry’ metaphor: anger is fire fire and anger spit fire ‘spit’. They looked at five sets of idioms with similar nonliteral meanings—idioms that have to do with revelation (e. The reason is that these conceptual metaphors exist and serve as links between two otherwise independently existing conceptual domains.e.e. nonlinguistic) evidence to show that conceptual metaphors exist for speakers. go off your rocker. insanity (e. why they have to do with anger..

We see that the metaphorical mapping of a source domain (for example. in the case of anger. between two domains— the source and the target.. the blowing of the stack) and that once the release has taken place (i. the lid flipped. it is difficult to reverse the action. There was a remarkable degree of consistency in people’s images and responses to the questions.) because conceptual metaphors like the mind is a container and anger is a hot fluid in a container exist in the conceptual system of speakers of English. and specific knowledge about these images. and the like. For example. hold your tongue). that one has little control over the pressure once it builds. p. Gibbs and O’Brien explain: When imagining Anger idioms people know that pressure (that is. (1990. stress or frustration) causes the action. a conceptual metaphor is a set of mappings. love. Anger idioms like blow your stack. button your lips. consequence. or correspondences. etc. for different idioms about anger.e. This consistency in people’s understanding of idioms is a result of conceptual metaphors.METAPHOR. the anger emotion) motivates why people have consistent mental images. Many of the fire-metaphors listed above. call the shots). Now I will say something about the more precise meaning of particular idiomatic expressions that involves the structure of the source domain and the corresponding structure of the target domain. heated fluid in a container) into target domains (for example. such as anger is fire. So far I have talked only about the general meaning of idioms. hit the ceiling (which all have the nonliteral meaning ‘to get angry’) are understood by people in terms of the same general image and specific knowledge (like cause. the stack blown). flip your lid. 434) If it were not the case that people’s tacit knowledge about idioms is structured by (different) conceptual metaphors. and exerting control (e.. love is fire. Each of these responses are based on people’s conceptions of heated fluid or vapor building up and escaping from containers (ones that our participants most frequently reported to be the size of a person’s head). Participants in the experiments were asked to form mental images of idioms and were asked a series of questions about their images. METONYMY.g. are constituted by the following conceptual mappings or correspondences: Þ the person in a state/process Þ the state (like anger. AND IDIOMS 237 it under your hat. there would be very little consistency in people’s understanding of idioms with similar nonliteral meanings. once the ceiling has been hit. As shown throughout this book. lay down the law. its violent release is done unintentionally (for example. action. it is the mind is a container and the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphors that guarantee the consistency. imagination) the cause of the fire Þ the cause of the state the beginning of the fire Þ the beginning of the state the thing burning the heat of fire . crack the whip.

The study involved idioms that are motivated by a special type of metaphor—metaphors based on “up-down” orientation. It underlies what I have designated conceptual fluency. one group of Hungarian learners of English learned idioms merely through memorization (i. and why to carry a torch for someone has as a large part of its meaning ‘for love to exist for someone’. what concept it has to do with) is the target domain of the conceptual metaphor that is applicable to the idiom at hand.2. (1993. As a “competence. The specific meaning of the other idioms can also be explained by recourse to the mappings that characterize the fire metaphors. Pedagogical Implications of Metaphor Research The pedagogical implications of the line of research I have described are obvious. why “extinguishing the last sparks of the uprising” means ‘ending the uprising’. what M.e. and that the more precise meaning of the idiom depends on the particular conceptual mapping that applies to the idiom. In an informal experimental study. which has to do with anger. without motivation) and another through conceptual metaphors (i... p. depends on the existence of the conceptual metaphor anger is fire.238 METAPHOR the existence of the fire the end of the fire the intensity of the fire Þ the existence of the state Þ the end of the state Þ the intensity of the state This set of mappings goes a long way in explaining the more precise meaning of a large number of idioms based on the domain of fire. or. which is ‘be very angry’.e. 493) Zoltán Kövecses and Péter Szabó (1996) report on an early experiment that gives us a way of building up metaphorical competence in learners of English as a foreign language.e. It will explain why. more simply. Metaphorical conceptualization is an intrinsic feature of discourse. The conclusion that we can draw from what has been done so far is that in many cases what determines the general meaning of an idiom (i. For example. “setting fire to one’s imagination” means ‘causing one’s imagination to function’. and its more precise meaning. Danesi explains: the programming of discourse in metaphorical ways is a basic feature of native-speaker competence. people have a metaphorical competence.. and underlying. such . with motivation). depends on the conceptual mapping “intensity of fire is intensity of anger” between the source domain (fire) and the target domain (anger). why spitting fire and smoke coming out of your ears mean ‘more intense anger’ than merely “burning with anger”. ‘to love someone’ (although the complete meaning of this idiom includes more). for example. In addition to. 2.” it can be thought about pedagogically in ways that are parallel to the other competencies that SLT has traditionally focused on (grammatical and communicative). the general meaning of the idiom spit fire. Danesi calls conceptual fluency.

As noted later in this section. associating it with a mental picture. 2. AND IDIOMS 239 as the phrasal verbs cheer up and break down. a large body of work has been produced that explores the usefulness of conceptual metaphor theory in foreign language teaching. The last type of elaboration just mentioned (the association of a word or expression with an image) has become known in memory modeling as dual coding. This is an umbrella term for a range of mental operations that a learner may perform in connection with a lexical item and that involve more cognitive effort or a deeper level of processing than merely noticing the item in passing. The majority of these studies have investigated the impact of metaphor awareness on the pace and depth of learners’ vocabulary acquisition. It is well known that the chances of learning new words and phrases are better if the learners engage in what is called elaboration. More Recent Pedagogical Applications of Metaphor Theory in Foreign Language Teaching Since the late 1990s. Incidental vocabulary acquisition through mere exposure is bound to be a slow process. personal communication. goes . and so on. which they happen to come across in a particular text. There is a growing consensus among experts in vocabulary acquisition that one cannot rely solely on learners’ incidental uptake of new words and expressions—for example. telling students that the expression show someone the ropes. (The survey in this section is based on Frank Boers’s assessment of the field. making students conscious of the metaphorical nature of certain words or expressions is an effective way of taking advantage of dual coding since. comparing it with items in the mother tongue that happen to be similar in form or meaning. connecting it with already known L2 items belonging to the same lexical field. This strategy is a welcome addition to the methodologies teachers and curriculum writers currently use in teaching vocabulary in foreign language instruction. It includes the association of the item with a particular context. To accelerate learners’ uptake of vocabulary. time and effort needs to be invested in (a) drawing students’ attention to lexical items and (b) stimulating storage of those items in long-term memory. Boers. we can accelerate their vocabulary uptake. through independent reading.METAPHOR. Various studies have shown that second language learners can benefit significantly from activities that heighten their awareness of metaphor (and metonymy). For example. The results showed that learners who learned idioms in a motivated way performed roughly 25% better in an idiom-related task than those who did not. where the mental picture serves as a pathway for remembering the lexical item. September 2008. METONYMY.1. the results of the experiment give us real evidence for the claim that idiom learning can be greatly aided with the help of the ideas that have been developed in this study.) If we raise students’ awareness of metaphor. Thus.2. it makes students aware of the concrete source domains or contexts in which the given words or expressions were originally used in their literal (and thus easily “imaginable”) senses. by definition.

It is the way words are combined into semi-fixed word strings and the appropriate use of these strings that makes native speakers sound “idiomatic. Suggestions for helping language learners meet the challenge of building a sizeable repertoire of multiword units are still relatively rare. it moves out of the container. can subsequently be helpful for the student to recognize the figurative meaning of the expression on future encounters and possibly also to remember the phrase for active usage. The association of the expression with that image. vocabulary can also deliberately be selected. more specifically. Selected expressions can simply be grouped according to the conceptual metaphor or source domain they have in common. which obviously adds enormously to the burden on memory and thus makes the task of vocabulary learning generally even more difficult and daunting. some brainstorming about the use of the word out on encountering phrasal verbs such as figure out. and presented in ways that enhance students’ metaphor awareness and that stimulate elaboration (and thus retention in memory).” The lexical phrases are stored in the native speaker’s memory as prefabricated “chunks” and thus can be quickly retrieved as ready-made utterances.” “He’s blowing off steam. or idioms (rather than single words). Above I gave an example of how students can be prompted to engage in mental elaboration (and. The pedagogical exploitation of metaphor may help make up for this shortfall. expressions used to describe anger or angry behavior can be grouped under headings such as anger is heat (e. Conceptual metaphors are commonly instantiated by phrases. a growing body of research has revealed that natural discourse abounds in semi-fixed lexical phrases. and this gives us another reason to try to exploit them for pedagogical purposes. subsequently. it becomes visible (cf. If our aim is for second language learners to approximate the way native speakers of the target language process and produce discourse—that is. It is . For example. “Don’t bite my head off!” or “He’s beginning to bare his teeth”). or picture. point out.. which serves to heighten their awareness of the metaphorical nature of the expression.. This may seem like a small intervention in the learning process. “She’s fuming.g. which facilitates fluency. idiomatically and fluently—then it follows that they will need to master not only single words (which is challenging enough) but also a great number of multiword items.g. dual coding) regarding an expression (show someone the ropes) by telling them about the literal origin or source of the idiom. or idioms. but experiments have shown that such small interventions can have a significant impact on students’ memory of the targeted phrases. In recent decades. the metaphor knowing is seeing).240 METAPHOR back to the scene of an experienced sailor showing a novice around on a ship becomes useful because it is likely to call up in the student’s mind a mental picture of that concrete scene.” or “He blew up at me”) and angry behavior is dangerous animal behavior (e. In addition to such random ways of learning new items. and find out may help learners visualize a(n image) schema in which something is first inside a container and thus not visible from the outside but when. Similarly. organized.

random lists. It’s a flourishing company These are the symptoms of an arthritic labor market Economists should prescribe the right remedy. The Japanese economy is slowly recovering. 10. The state is suffering from a chronic budget deficit. Japanese companies are invading weaker markets. 15. 3. What bank is going to bail out this drifting business? We need to conquer more market share. The monetary lever has rusted. 4. 8.METAPHOR. Apart from its potential to accelerate vocabulary uptake.” It is therefore sensible to first introduce students to groupings of words and phrases. 11. Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ Source: ______ This sample exercise was meant to consolidate students’ knowledge of some of the figurative phrases used in their branch of study and to help them add a few phrases to their repertoires. Our industry is in the doldrums again. “She snapped at me” and “Don’t rub him up the wrong way” for angry behavior is dangerous animal behavior). This is because categorization tasks call for a certain degree of cognitive effort. as already mentioned. 14. 13. The following example (adapted from Boers. that are made up of familiar items and just a few novel ones. Using a particular metaphor as a principle for organization has the additional advantage that it is likely to stimulate mental imagery and hence dual coding.g. This firm will have to prune some of its branches. metaphor awareness can foster “in-depth” knowledge and understanding of figuratively used . idioms. Our firm will have to slim down. the chances of successful uptake of the novel items are greatest if a fair amount of the input is (at least partly) known already. and to help them add more expressions to the established groups as they come across them later (e. which is known to increase the chances of remembering them longer. WAR.”and “He’s hot under the collar” for anger is heat. HEALTH. 7. One of the cognitive advantages of organizing lexis in groups (such as groups based on metaphor themes) is that it facilitates connecting novel items with already familiar ones in the “mental lexicon. The government’s policy has been blown off course. but. say. 6. 5.” Giving students the task to categorize figuratively used words or idiomatic expressions themselves according to the groupings they have been introduced to is likely to have an additional beneficial effect on the students memorizing them. METONYMY. or GARDENING. 1. “Simmer down!” “She erupted. 12. Task: Categorize the expressions according to their source of inspiration MACHINERY. SAILING. so they can connect “new” with “old” without the risk of mental “overcrowding. 9. AND IDIOMS 241 well known that vocabulary that is presented in an organized fashion is easier to learn than. 2. It will be difficult to keep our company afloat. 2000) was designed for students in an economics section. The economy is overheating.

and so on. especially from some standard dictionaries. (b) The usage restrictions of the phrases: for example. in addition to conceptual metaphor. studies have shown that recognition of the source domains or literal origins of given figurative phrases can help learners appreciate the following: (a) The evaluative dimension of these phrases: for example. a popular “national” sport may generate “culture-specific” clusters of idioms. To see how two further mechanisms—conceptual metonymy and conventional knowledge—are also involved in this process. and this has been shown to generate additional benefits. My students and I have collected a large number of idioms that have to do with the human hand from a variety of sources. I turn now to another conceptual domain: that of the human hand. Idioms Based on Conventional Knowledge and Metonymy Conceptual metaphor is not the only cognitive mechanism that can motivate idioms. However. given the “turbulence that is part of the experience of being in the wake of a large sailing vessel. In particular. We have found that.3.242 METAPHOR words and phrases. As long as the words and phrases to be learned are relatively short and made up of mostly familiar ingredients. Exploiting awareness of metaphor as a channel for learning is advantageous first and foremost for students’ in-depth comprehension and their retention of the meaning of figuratively used words and phrases. low-frequency words as in at the end of your tether and run the gauntlet).g. ?In the wake of supper we watched TV. the composition of the stock of idioms of a community typically reflects the (past) occupations of that community—a rich seafaring history will generate many sailing idioms. for instance. it is possible that additional kinds of elaboration that encourage closer attention to the formal features of the words and the precise lexical makeup of the phrases are required as well—at least if the aim of the learner is to be able to produce these lexical items accurately and fluently. the semantic elaboration stimulated by metaphor instruction will be sufficient to enable learners to recollect the items from memory and reproduce them.. as the kind of elaboration it stimulates is semantic. . it would be odd to say. when the words and phrases to be learned are relatively long or made up of as yet unfamiliar ingredients (e. a politician who talks about weaning an industry off state support may be assumed to consider state subsidies as a temporary solution at best. given the experiential “logic” of breastfeeding. 2. (c) The (indirect) links of the phrases with the culture or history of the language community that uses them: for example. This is hardly surprising. My goal in this section is to present the major cognitive mechanisms that play a role in a cognitivist account of these idiomatic expressions.

The specific cognitive mechanisms required for an account of the idioms we have collected relating to the human hand include the following: general conventional knowledge about the use of the hand specific knowledge about the conventional gestures involving the hand the metonymy the hand stands for the activity the metonymy the hand stands for the person the metaphor freedom to act is having the hands free the metonymy the hand stands for the skill the metonymy the hand stands for control the metaphor control is holding something in the hand the metaphor possessing something is holding something in the hand the metaphor attention is holding something in the hand The cognitive mechanisms listed above and their combinations take us a long way in accounting for. the meanings of a large number of idiomatic expressions that have to do with the human hand. as well as conceptual metonymies. 2. We are busy with the things already in the hand.” The image of a person physically giving objects to another with an open hand implies the knowledge that nothing is held back and everything can be taken. AND IDIOMS 243 a cognitive linguistic account may also require (often nonmetaphorical) conventional knowledge. etc. METONYMY. we cannot easily pick up other things with it and use the hand for another activity. What is the explanation for the particular meaning of this idiomatic expression? If we hold things in the hand already.METAPHOR. and function of the human hand. use. as in “She gives her love to people with an open hand. it is hard to imagine how this person can hand over anything at all. Consider the expression have one’s hands full (= ‘to be busy’). As a matter of fact.3. This shared everyday knowledge includes standard information about the parts. This image stands in marked contrast to the knowledge about the image of a person who gives with his fist held tight. but it is this kind of conventional (nonmetaphoric and nonmetonymic) knowledge that underlies and thus motivates its meaning. This is perhaps not the only explanation one can come up with for the idiom. I simply mean the shared knowledge that people in a given culture have concerning a conceptual domain like the human hand.). Let us begin with general conventional knowledge. the expression tight-fisted . and motivating. size. I deal with only some of these cognitive mechanisms in what follows. Consider now the expression with an open hand meaning ‘generously’. and we are not in a position to engage in any other activity. Conventional Knowledge By conventional knowledge as a cognitive mechanism.1. shape. as well as the larger hierarchy of which it forms a part (hand as a part of the arm. Indeed.

.3. The basis for this conceptual metonymy is that many prototypical human activities are performed with the hands.’) the hand stands for the person metonymy seems to be based on the metonymy the hand stands for the activity. the hand may be viewed as an instrument. the metonymy the hand stands for the activity and some further conventional knowledge jointly produce a large part of the motivation for the idiomatic meaning of the expression hold one’s hand. from one person to another’) all hands on deck (‘everybody ready for action. When we hold our hands (i. (This metonymy may be a special case of the more general metonymy the instrument used in an activity stands for the activity. In a sentence like “We need more hands.” the word hands refers to persons. 2. This particular meaning arises in large measure as a result of the metonymy the hand stands for the activity. duty. We are waiting to see whether to continue or how to continue the activity we are engaged in. The particular metonymy that seems to provide motivation for the following idiomatic expressions is the hand stands for the activity. The latter suggests willingness and the former reluctance in giving. The prototypical person .2. Here again it is conventional knowledge that motivates idiomatic meaning. Thus. when we arrest the movement of the hand). etc. speakers of English would take the meaning of the sentence to be ‘we need more people. But we also appear to have further knowledge associated with holding one’s hand. as an example. Metonymy Now let us turn to idioms involving the hand where idiomatic meaning is largely based on metonymy. Thus.’ The same metonymy can be used to account for the meaning of some additional expressions: a factory hand (‘a factory worker’) from hand to hand (‘directly. the idiom hold one’s hand meaning ‘wait and see’.) Consider. Disregarding the possibility of cannibalism.244 METAPHOR indicates just the opposite of giving with an open hand. we have temporarily stopped an activity. Other idioms that behave in a similar way include: sit on one’s hands (‘deliberately do nothing’) put one’s hands in one’s pockets (‘deliberately do nothing’) turn one’s hand to something (‘tackle some project’) be able to do something with one hand behind one’s back (‘be able to do something very easily’) join hands with somebody (‘cooperate with a person’) One of the best-known metonymies in English is the hand stands for the activity (an instantiation of the more general metonymy the part stands for the whole). We can guess that the expression is about an activity because of this metonymy.e.

” Thus. Multiple Motivation for Idioms As noted throughout this discussion.METAPHOR. all the expressions is the hand stands for control. Thus. If we hold an object in the hand. the ability or possibility of directly manipulating an object as we wish can be regarded as the basis for this metaphor. . it is also understood metaphorically. 3. we can do whatever we wish to do with it. it is natural that we also have the hand stands for the person. it seems sensible to suggest that the conceptual metonymy that underlies. While in the previous examples the notion of control is indicated via a metonymy. AND IDIOMS 245 is an active person and since we have the metonymy the hand stands for the activity. Several of the idioms involving the human hand have to do with the notion of control. A more general metonymy that underlies this may be the instrument stands for control. which suggests the conceptual metaphor control is holding (something in the hand). METONYMY. not just one but several cognitive mechanisms can contribute to the motivation of a particular idiomatic expression. and thus provides the basis for. as shown by the following examples: hold the power to do something in the hollow of one’s hands (‘have the right to make crucial decisions’) be in hand (‘be under control’) be out of somebody’s hands (‘be out of one’s control’) be in someone’s hands (‘be being dealt with by someone with the necessary authority’) take something in hand (‘assume control over something’) get out of hand (‘get out of control’) have the situation well in hand (‘have the situation well under control’) fall into the hands of somebody (‘unintentionally come under the control of somebody’) These idioms all have to do with control and employ the act of holding something in the hand. We find some form of control or authority in all of the following examples: gain the upper hand (‘attain an advantage over another person’) rule with an iron hand (‘keep strict discipline’) with a heavy hand (‘in an oppressive fashion’) with an iron hand in a velvet glove (‘with a hard attitude made to seem soft’) keep a strict hand upon a person (‘keep under total control’) The meaning of all these examples somehow involves “control.

) Other idioms also interact with conceptual metaphors and metonymies that make use of the human hand. Idioms based on the joint functioning of these cognitive mechanisms also include catch somebody red-handed (‘apprehend a person in the course of committing a crime’) and have blood on one’s hand (‘be the person responsible for someone else’s predicament’). The cognitive linguistic view of idioms shares with the traditional view that the meanings of idioms are not completely predictable. an “unclean” substance on the hand.).” etc. appears in conjunction with the hand in an idiom.” “He’s the underdog. idioms consist of two or more words and the overall meaning of these words is unpredictable from the meanings of the constituent words. (2) metonymy. Another part of the meaning is motivated by the structural metaphor ethical is clean (which also shows up in a number of other linguistic expressions such as have blood on one’s hand). There are at least three cognitive mechanisms that make the meanings of idioms motivated: (1) metaphor. Psycholinguistic experiments show that many idioms have psychological reality. When the word blood. In this case. This is because. A major assumption of the traditional view is that idiomatic meaning is largely arbitrary. and (3) conventional knowledge.246 METAPHOR What has not been explained so far is how parts of expressions that are not directly related to the hand receive their conceptual motivation. Let us take the expression gain the upper hand. we also apply some conventional knowledge concerning blood and the human hand. the use of the word hand is motivated by the metonymy the hand stands for control. the word under is motivated by the ethical/moral is up and unethical/amoral is down metaphor complex. but it suggests that a large part of an idiom’s meaning is motivated. (On orientational metaphors such as these. The expression means ‘be innocent or act ethically’. in addition to the metonymy the hand stands for the activity and the metaphor moral/ethical is clean. But what of the word upper? The most likely motivation for this word seems to be the control is up conceptual metaphor (which is also manifest in other examples like “I’m on top of the situation. and this meaning is partly based on the metonymy the hand stands for the activity. As shown. see chapter 3. Thus. we have an idiomatic expression that consists of a word (hand) that is motivated by a conceptual metonymy relating the hand to the notion of control and another word (upper) that is based on the conceptual metaphor control is up that is completely independent of the system constituted by the concept of hand. Another example is the expression to do something in an underhanded way. . SUMMARY According to the traditional view. and many idioms are based on these cognitive devices. we have another example of a cognitively complex situation. Take the idiom have clean hands.

In one recent development. Dobrovolskij and Piirainen (2005) emphasize the cultural context in idiom comprehension. Boers and Lindstromberg (in press) is a book on the teaching of lexical phrases using insights from cognitive linguistics. vol. The notion of semantic transparency is discussed by Irujo (1993). and Gibbs (1994) surveys the relevant literature. for example. Most of the psycholinguistic research into idioms from a cognitive perspective was done by Gibbs (1990) and Gibbs and colleagues (e. A review article on the use of cognitive linguistics in second/foreign language learning is Boers and Lindstromberg (2006).. L. (1999b). Several papers deal with applied and corpus-linguistic aspects of metaphor and metaphor-based idioms in Cameron and Low. Boers. Deignan. Alexander. Carter and McCarthy (1988). F. Todd. eds.” Moon (1998) examines the role of context. AND IDIOMS 247 When it is the case that an idiom is motivated by metaphor. A recent review article on vocabulary learning is Schmitt (2008).METAPHOR. McArthur (1992). Gibbs and O’Brien 1990). and others. Danesi (1993) describes what he calls “metaphorical competence. Cameron. A major practical advantage of the cognitive linguistic view is that it facilitates the teaching and learning of idioms in the context of foreign language learning. Drew. The more precise aspects of an idiom’s meaning are based on the conceptual mapping that is relevant to the idiom. including verbal context. (2008). Giora (1997) offers what she calls the “graded salience hypothesis. Kövecses (2001) continues to outline the place of the cognitive linguistic view of idioms in applied linguistics. Feyaerts (1999) analyzes idioms of stupidity in German. and the idiom dictionaries cited above. P. Littlemore and Low (2006) explore the importance of figurative thought in language learning generally. . and later. 2 (1973). Cameron and Low (1999a) survey the metaphor field in applied linguistics and provide an excellent summary of work by R. A. the more general meaning of the idiom is based on the target domain that is applicable to the idiom in question. Niemeier (2000) is an analysis of idioms related to the heart. together with some implications for applied linguistics. Lakoff (1987) provided much of the impetus for the study of idioms in cognitive linguistics. 1 (1975) and vol. Idiom comprehension is a huge topic. They also list a number of web resources for the study of metaphor and metonymy.” Radden (1995) discusses idioms related to the verbs come and go from a cognitive linguistic perspective. A collection of recent studies on the use of figuration in vocabulary and phraseology teaching can be found in Boers and Lindstromberg. Z. 1994. G. Alexander (1987) and Lattey (1986).g. Low. eds. METONYMY. FURTHER READING Classifications of idioms can be found in the Longman Dictionary of Idioms (1979) and the Oxford Dictionary of Idiomatic English. For the standard or traditional views of idioms. see. in the understanding of idioms. Kövecses and Szabó (1996) outline the semantic aspects of the cognitive linguistic view of idioms. Gairns and Redman (1986).

What cognitive mechanisms (metonymies. identify (a) the special idiomatic meaning of the expressions and (b) the cognitive mechanisms (metaphors. conventional knowledge) that motivate the meaning of the idiom. Macbeth is caught red-handed. conventional knowledge) are at work in these idiomatic expressions? (a) catch someone’s eye (b) close one’s eyes to something (c) get stars in one’s eyes (d) give someone the eye (e) have eyes in the back of one’s head (f) turn a blind eye to someone/something (g) in one’s mind’s eye (h) keep one’s eyes peeled (i) lay/set eyes on someone/something (j) pull the wool over someone’s eyes 4. metaphors. I really saw red. In the following sentences. (7) The day I won a prize on the football pools was a real red-letter day. 5. which come from a dictionary of idioms. (6) He is a red-hot socialist.59–62). the area was put on red alert. as presented in the following dialogue. (8) When he started criticizing my work. Making the green one red. Look at the following idioms related to the eyes. . (5) The Prime Minister was given the red-carpet treatment when he visited the town. Identify the specific metaphors or metonymies that underlie the following idiomatic slang or informal expressions: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) get all steamed up “become angry/lustful” get cold feet “be frightened” brew.248 METAPHOR EXERCISES 1. metonymies. (3) When smoke was seen rising from the volcano.2. (2) Criticizing the Liberal Party in front of him is like a red rag to a bull. (4) He was a red-blooded male who could not be expected to live like a monk. 3. chill “beer” have a head like a sieve “absent-minded” split up “break up” 2. The following quote from Macbeth is the part where Macbeth has just stabbed King Duncan to death (2. (1) I am/my bank account is in the red. What is the motivation for this metaphorical idiom? Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood Clean from my hand? No. this my hand will rather The multitudinous seas incarnadine. The lack of knowledge of idioms can lead to misunderstanding between native speakers and learners of English.

but doesn’t care about you. . so what’s troubling your mind? My mind? I’m in perfect mental condition. . METONYMY. I mean how are you? Oh. do you want to step out of the shade? Come sit here by my side. Oh. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM? WHAT IS WRONG? WHY AREN’T YOU FEELING GOOD??? It’s this girl . you just have to play your cards right. so you’ve got heart problems? What are you talking about? I’m perfectly healthy. Ok. AND IDIOMS 249 (a) Give the meaning of the idioms and (b) identify the conceptual metaphors and metonymies that are at work in the idioms. actually. I’m totally in the dark here. I’m not good. don’t back down. Well. it’s sunnier here. no! Just tell me why you’re down!!! Why? Because I’m sitting on a bench. . Ok.METAPHOR. A: B: A: B: A: B: A: B: A: B: A: B: A: B: A: What’s up? What? Where up? No. Oh. Oh. the girl from class that drives you insane. and you’re standing. No.

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Metaphor and Metonymy in the Study of Language


n chapter 15, I show how the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor and metonymy can shed new light on one aspect of language studies: the study of idiomatic expressions—especially for applied linguistic purposes. In this chapter, I discuss some further implications of this view for the study of various additional aspects of language. Given our new perspective, I deal with such well-known linguistic phenomena as polysemy, historical semantics, and grammar and grammatical constructions. Then, I look briefly at metaphorical aspects of linguistic theorizing.

1. Polysemy Polysemy involves words that have a number of related senses (as opposed to homonymy where the senses are completely unrelated). This is the traditional definition of polysemy that cognitive linguists also accept. A crucial question here is what is meant by two senses being related. It is by taking this question seriously that cognitive linguistics can greatly contribute to a fuller understanding of the phenomenon of polysemy. It can be suggested that polysemy is often based on metaphor and metonymy; that is, in many cases there are systematic metaphorical and metonymic relationships between two senses of a word. The most obvious and most analyzed examples of how polysemy can be based on metaphor come from prepositions and adverbials, such as over, up, down, on, in, and the like. The word up, for instance, can be said to have many senses. We can exemplify two of these with sentences such as the following:
(a) He went up the stairs, so that we can see him. (b) He spoke up, so that we can hear him.



In (a), the sense of up is ‘upward’, while in (b) it is ‘more intensity’. Now the problem is how these two senses of up are related. The explanation is that they are related by a conceptual metaphor: more is up, whereby, in this particular case, more intensity of sound is understood as being physically higher on some scale. Thus, the metaphor more is up provides a systematic link between two different senses of the same word. In the traditional view, where there are no conceptual metaphors, this explanation would not be available because it could only be suggested that there is some kind of preexisting similarity between the two. But as discussed, this notion is too vague to have any real explanatory value. Now consider a content (or open class) word, such as climb. We can demonstrate three of its senses, or uses, with the following sentences:
(a) The monkey climbed up the pole. (b) The prices are climbing up. (c) She is climbing the corporate ladder.

It is obvious that in (a) climb means simultaneously “clambering” and “upward.” The “clambering” component is canceled out in a sentence such as “The plane climbed to 30,000 feet.” Planes do not have arms and legs, so they can’t clamber, but they can “move upward.” What about (b) and (c)? Example (b) is related to (a) by means of the same conceptual metaphor that we saw above for up: more is up. Prices cannot physically move up, but they can metaphorically do so by means of more is up: the increase in prices is understood as upward physical movement. Example (c) is also systematically related to (a), in that there is a productive conceptual metaphor, a career is an upward journey, that links them; to acquire a socially higher position is comprehended as upward physical movement in the course of a journey. What is common to the two cases above (up and climb) is that the two words have a physical sense (‘upward’), and this physical sense is extended to metaphorical senses by means of conceptual metaphors (more is up and a career is an upward journey). In other words, a central, physical sense serves as a source domain to conceptualize certain target domains, such as quantity and career, that are less clearly physical. Let us now briefly reconsider the case of fire as a source domain with which we dealt in chapter 15. There I point out that the domain of fire is used to conceptualize a wide variety of intense states and events, such as anger, love, enthusiasm, imagination, conflict, energy, and so on. This means that fire, and the near-synonymous word flame, will predictably have the sense of an intense state or event because there exists the mapping in the fire metaphor: “the (heat of) fire corresponds to an intense state or event.” That is, the word fire (and flame) will be as many ways polysemous as the number of target concepts the source domain of fire applies to: anger, love, conflict, and so on. Most of these are given in dictionaries as conventionalized senses. However, some of them are not, but it is not even necessary to give them. The reason is as follows:



The scope of metaphor and the main meaning focus of a source domain (see chapter 10) can determine the polysemy of words (e.g., fire and flame) in that source domain (e.g., fire) by means of the mappings that characterize that meaning focus (e.g., “the (heat of) fire corresponds to an intense state or event”).

In this way, we get a powerful mechanism to account for many cases of polysemy. The cases examined so far are all based on metaphor. What role does metonymy play in polysemy? To see this, let us take the word love, as used in the following sentences:
(a) I was overwhelmed by love. (b) The love between them is strong. (c) Her love of music knows no boundaries. (d) Come here, love. (e) I love ice-cream. (f) They are lovers. (g) I gave her all my love.

Love is used in different senses in the examples above:
(a) intense emotion, passion (b) relationship (c) enthusiasm (d) the object of love (e) liking (f) sexual partners (g) affection

How can we account for the fact that the word love has precisely these senses? The answer relies crucially on two notions: metonymy and idealized cognitive models (ICM) (see chapter 12). I claim in this book that metonymy, unlike metaphor, is found between elements of a single ICM. The ICM for romantic love involves several elements: the lovers (subject and object of love), an intense emotion felt by the lovers, a relationship between them, and a variety of attitudes and behaviors typically assumed by the love emotion, including (but not exhausted by) affection, liking, enthusiasm, and sex. (All this is not to claim that there is only one kind of romantic love.) We can account for the extension of the basic sense of love, the love emotion, by postulating the following set of conceptual metonymies:
(1) (2) (3) (4) love for the relationship it produces (ex. b) love for the object of emotion (exs. d and f) love for the subject of emotion (ex. f) love for the properties (attitudes and behaviors) it assumes (exs. c, e, f, and g)



More generally, we can have the following corresponding metonymies:
the the the the emotion emotion emotion emotion for for for for the relationship it produces the object of emotion the agent of the emotion an assumed property of that emotion

However, the metonymies that account for the several distinct senses of love are not limited to the emotion domain. At the most general level, we find the following metonymies in connection with love:
cause for effect (emotion for the relationship) effect for cause (emotion for the object) state for agent (emotion for the agent) whole for part (emotion for assumed property)

The metonymy whole for part will include as special cases love for affection, love for liking, love for enthusiasm, and love for sex. To conclude this discussion of polysemy, it can be claimed that meaning extension often takes place on the basis of conceptual metaphor and metonymy. These take as their source domains the more central senses of the words concerned. The metaphors and metonymies serve as cognitive links between two or more distinct senses of a word. But the most significant point is that the metaphors and metonymies that serve as cognitive links between two or more distinct senses exist independently in our conceptual system. more is up, a career is a journey, an intense state is fire, cause for effect, and whole for part have separate and independent existence in our conceptual system; nevertheless, we call on them to extend the range of the senses of the words we use.

2. Historical Semantics Historical semantics studies, among other things, the historical development of the senses of words. A major question is whether the changes are random and unpredictable or whether there are systematic changes in the development of the senses of related words. Cognitive linguists have made interesting discoveries in this field as well, in light of which it has become possible to explain phenomena that were unaccounted for or simply unrecognized before. In many such cases, the cognitive mechanisms that helped scholars in their work were again metaphor and metonymy. 2.1. Modal Verbs Following Len Talmy’s (1988) work on force dynamics, Eve Sweetser (1990) suggested that modal verbs in English (and in many other languages) develop



their senses in a certain direction: from the so-called root sense to what is called the “epistemic” sense. The root sense has to do with sociophysical obligation, permission, and ability, whereas the epistemic sense involves logical necessity and probability. The two senses can be illustrated in the case of the modal must as follows:
(a) John must be home by ten; mother won’t let him stay out any later. (b) John must be home already; I can see his coat.

In (a), we make a statement about a social obligation, while in (b) we make a logical inference on the basis of some evidence. Thus, (a) exemplifies the root sense and (b) the epistemic sense of must. The root senses of must, may, might, can, will, and the like tend to appear historically before the epistemic senses of the same modals. Why is it that the epistemic senses of modals derive historically from the root senses? Sweetser’s idea is that the root senses reflect a reality external to the speaker, while the epistemic senses a reality internal to the speaker. Given this, it becomes possible to conceptualize the internal in terms of the external (i.e., internal is external), the less physical in terms of the more physical; that is, to apply what Sweetser terms the mind as body metaphor. But what is the structure of the external reality associated with root modality, such as social obligation, permission, and so on? Following Talmy’s work, Sweetser argues that it is structured by force-dynamic notions such as force (that compels one to act in some way) and barrier (to action). Thus, it is based on the metaphor the social world is the physical world. In the case of the root sense of must, a social force (understood as a physical force) compels an entity to do something. But what corresponds to this social force in the case of the epistemic sense? Consider the following pair of examples, illustrating the two senses of must (a corresponding to the root sense, b to the epistemic one):
(a) You must come home by ten. (b) You must have been home last night.

To reveal the difference in meaning between the two senses, we can distinguish the two sentences as follows:
(a) “A social authority (mother) compels you to come home by ten.” (b) “Some evidence (I saw the light in your room) compels me to conclude that you were home last night.”

The social force of the root modal in (a) corresponds to some evidence available to the speaker in (b). In other words, the epistemic sense (the internal world of the speaker) is comprehended via the social sense as structured by physical forces.



In another example, let us take the modal may. This can be illustrated with the sentence pair:
(a) John may go. (b) John may be there. (a) “John is not barred by authority from going.” (b) “The speaker is not barred from the conclusion that John is there.”

Here as well, the social world is understood in terms of the physical world, and the social world so understood is used as a source domain for the comprehension of the internal world of epistemic modality. Clearly, the historical development of the modal senses from root to epistemic is at the same time a case of polysemy: meaning differentiation through time. It is thus not surprising that the same mechanisms that apply to polysemy, such as metaphor, apply and produce historically new senses. But, of course, the new senses coexist today and constitute true cases of polysemy.

2.2. Words of Vision for Words of Wisdom But the process of historical meaning shift affects open-class items as well. It has been widely noticed that words denoting various psychological phenomena, such as knowing, emotion, and judgment, derive historically from words denoting bodily sensations, such as sight, touch, and taste. It was again Sweetser who brought the two sets of words into systematic correspondence and suggested that the correspondences are special cases of the more general metaphor the mind is the body. She proposed the following set of mappings: the mind-as-body system
Target Domain Mental manipulation, control Sight Knowledge, mental vision Internal receptivity Emotion Personal preference ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ Source Domain: Physical manipulation Physical manipulation Sight Hearing Feel Taste

Let us take the domain of vision as an example. In English (and again in many other languages), words denoting vision also denote various aspects of knowing. It is this knowing is seeing metaphor that seems to account for many present-day linguistic metaphors, such as “I see,” “transparent idea,” and “murky argument.” This extension of the domain of vision to that of knowledge is pervasive and systematic. And many of the words that we consider literal today turn out to be based on the same metaphor. Here are some examples from György László (1997):

appearance. watch over speculate: modeled on Latin speculatus. consider. meaning seeing. the study of the smallest meaningful elements (morphemes) of language and their combinations. speculate. from Greek phantasia appearance. from specere to look at theory: from Greek theorein to consider. on + tueri to look. and it is not only and simply a property of isolated words. look at. look. the shifts are unidirectional through time: they go from vision to knowledge. archetype. from Greek idéa look. related to horán to see Again.METAPHOR AND METONYMY IN THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE 257 aspect: from Latin aspectus. kind. which represent . Other researchers have found that conceptual metonymy should also be taken into account if we wish to understand some grammatical phenomena in natural language.at. semblance. 3. nouns to adjectives. One question that arises in morphology is the following: What is the cognitive basis of shifting the grammatical status of words and expressions from one class to another? It is a well-known phenomenon that speakers of languages often shift the grammatical classes of words. conceptual metaphors govern the direction of shifts of meaning through history. and so on. I take Eve Clark and Herbert Clark’s (1979) work on the so-called denominal verbs. from in. In other words. from adat + specere to look fantasy: from Latin phantasia. form. examine. contemplate. adjectives to verbs. This is called functional shift. observe.1. like porch the newspaper and Houdini one’s way out of a closet. from theorós spectator. I look next at the cognitive basis of the shift from nouns to verbs. that they may have never heard before? The denominal verbs in the expressions are porch and Houdini. or conversion. from idein to see intuition: from Latin intueri look at. involving noun-to-verb shifts. One aspect of grammar involves morphology: that is. past participle of speculari to watch. ideal prototype. 3. and involves cases such as shifting nouns to verbs. Metonymy and Denominal Verbs The approach outlined in chapter 12 on metonymy can be fruitfully applied to this issue. from specula watchtower. these cases provide further evidence for the view that historical meaning change occurs along “well-trodden” paths. perception idea: from Latin idea idea. as an example to demonstrate the point that metonymy may be involved in various aspects of grammar and conceptualization. image. Grammar Lakoff and Johnson (1980) showed that conceptual metaphor plays a role in grammar as well. Greek theorós from théa a view + horós seeing. verbs to nouns. Clark and Clark pose the question: Why is it that people readily create and understand denominal verbs.

or process that. result for action. (5) experiencer verbs: witness the accident. 767). bench the players. (4) agent verbs: butcher the cow. (6) goal verbs: powder the aspirin. p. The suggestion is that it is possible to reanalyze all these cases as cases of metonymic relationships. he has good reason to believe. carpet the floor. I suggest that at least part of the explanation for why such denominal verbs are readily made and understood involves the productive metonymic relationships described in chapter 12. ship something. they provide speakers with natural cognitive links that enable them to move from one entity (the vehicle) to another (the target) unconsciously and without any effort. honeymoon in Hawaii. The particular significance of this is that the action icm and the metonymic relationships that it defines account for literally thousands of denominal verbs. (8) instrument verbs: bicycle to town. (7) source verbs: piece the quilt together. on the basis of their shared knowledge” (1979. short-list the candidates. agent for action. letter the sign. (3) duration verbs: summer in Paris. word the sentence. line up the class. Although Clark and Clark do not mention metonymy in this process in their account. destination for motion. ski. event. Clark and Clark’s proposal is that in using such verbs people follow a convention: “the speaker means to denote the kind of state. all these metonymies are instances of what I call the action icm. winter in California. paddle the canoe. The kinds of metonymies that are based on the icm are deeply entrenched in the conceptual system of speakers of English: for instance. badger the officials. They are a part of the mutual knowledge that speakers share and rely on in creating and understanding denominal verbs with ease. sheet the furniture. author the book. Here are the metonymies that apply to the eight classes: (1) Locatum verbs: object of motion for the motion (2) Location verbs: destination of the motion for the motion (3) Duration verbs: time period for a characteristic activity in that time period (4) Agent verbs: agent for a characteristic activity of that agent (5) Experiencer verbs: experiencer of an event for the event (6) Goal verbs: result for the action that brings about that result (7) Source verbs: component parts of a whole for the action that produces the whole (8) Instrument verbs: instrument for the action involving that instrument As can be seen. Clark and Clark distinguish eight classes of denominal verbs: (1) locatum verbs: blanket the bed. dupe the voter. and instrument for action. kennel the dog. . These metonymies apply well beyond denominal verbs.258 METAPHOR noun-to-verb shifts. boycott the store. jockey the horse. the listener can readily and uniquely compute on this occasion. Because they are deeply entrenched and pervasive. (2) location verbs: porch the newspaper.

like small children and animals. are regarded as helpless and thus in need of care and affection. such as sinfonia and cena (‘symphony’ and ‘supper’). But it has other uses as well. What we have here is the process of metaphorization. as applied to a noun like Mamma. the diminutive. For example. and It would be nice if I knew the answer. is to locate an event or state at some point in time prior to the time of speaking. One such use involves the expression of counterfactuality. the third person singular past tense of be) that the person is no longer ill. .e. But metonymy is also at work in the use of the diminutive suffix. Attached to a noun. . are conceptualized as physical domains. as discussed by John Taylor (1989). in Italian one such diminutive suffix is -etto. Here it is possible to draw the inference from the form was (i. yielding sinfonietta and cenetta (‘small-scale symphony’ and ‘small supper’). like symphony and supper. What is the range of cases to which diminutive morphemes can apply? How can we systematically account for this range? The central sense of diminutive morphemes in languages that have such morphemes is the “small size” of a physical entity. This correlation in experience gives a new meaning to the diminutive suffix and accounts for its particular sense development.. Another. The Past Tense Suffix The central meaning of the past tense suffix in English.3. like villa. sense of the diminutive is the expression of affection. not on metaphor. the use of the past tense implies that the event or state denoted by the verb does not hold in the present. 3. Why can the -ed suffix be used in meanings (such as counterfactuality) that seemingly have nothing to do with past time? Taylor suggests that this happens because there is a metonymic transfer at work here. The metonymy involves a correlation in human experience. yields Mammina and has the sense of affection on the part of the speaker. the noun indicates the small size of a physical object. namely. More generally.METAPHOR AND METONYMY IN THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE 259 3.2. -ed.. This extension is based on metonymy. say. and maybe an even more obvious. But the same suffix can also be attached to. Thus. like physical objects that have small size. in such sentences as If I had time . As an illustration. in which nonphysical domains. The Italian diminutive -ina. The Diminutive Consider now another case. that physically small things. The metonymy involves an inference that can be drawn from the use of the past tense. it can be suggested that the past tense has a meaning (‘past time’) that is only part of a larger meaning that includes the inference that the state no longer holds in the present (i. . This inference rests on a metonymic relationship: given that use of the past tense implies present counterfactuality. which becomes villetta (‘small villa’) when diminutivized. consider the sentence I was ill last week. nonphysical nouns. the range of cases to which the diminutive applies includes cases that are extensions of the central sense based on metaphor.e.

3. extended sense of the same construction is discussed by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1980). which involves a verb followed by two objects.” I mention this kind of metaphor in chapter 9. a goal (indirect object). the second sentence is more polite or tactful than the first— that is. which is the metaphor causation is physical transfer. I wanted to ask you something. Can you help me? Could you help me? In both pairs. Excuse me. If I say I wanted to ask you something. and a theme (direct object). To be tactful and polite implies lack of involvement. Consider the following pair of sentences: I taught Harry Greek. One example of this is the ditransitive construction. One extension of the basic sense involves sentences such as “Bill gave me a headache. Another use of the past tense involves -ed as a pragmatic softener. But metaphors are also found in larger syntactic constructions because polysemy applies to grammatical constructions in the same way as it does to words. The semantics can be given as follows: x causes y to receive z. and is described extensively by Adele Goldberg (1995). Grammatical Constructions So far we have considered only morphemes and words in our discussion of metaphor in grammar. it is pragmatically softened.260 METAPHOR it has a counterfactual sense as well). I want to ask you something. This is the basic sense of the construction.4. This meaning has become conventionalized in English as the previous example Could you help me? also indicates. Take the following pairs of sentences: Excuse me. an agent (subject). . Why can the past tense -ed suffix express tactfulness? The reason is.” The construction can be described as consisting of a verb. that the basic sense of the past tense is extended by means of a metaphor: involvement is closeness and lack of involvement is distance. this suggests less of an intrusion on someone’s privacy than using I want. What is new and remarkable about it in the present context is that it can be seen as an extension of the basic sense and that the extension is motivated by a metaphoric link. where it was pointed out that it is a manifestation of the causation is physical transfer metaphor. Now this part for whole metonymic relationship explains the counterfactual sense of -ed. I taught Greek to Harry. The use of the past tense distances the person from the direct force of the utterance. Taylor suggests. Consider the following case that exemplifies the construction “Bill gave me an apple. An even subtler case of a metaphoric link between the basic sense and another.

METAPHOR AND METONYMY IN THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE 261 The difference in meaning between the two sentences is that the first implies that Harry did learn some Greek. image metaphors. Apart from mapping the shape of a submarine onto the sandwich.000 square feet of retail space’) and submarine sandwich (‘a large soft breadroll. the stronger will be the effect of the meaning of a on the meaning of b. then. the closer form a is to form b. As discussed here in chapter 4. the sandwich is like a submarine?on a highly abstract level: the long. sturdy shape of the submarine corresponds to the long and bulky contour of a submarine sandwich. respectively. linguistic form is understood in spatial terms (i.1). One such linguistic mechanism that may play a role is “theme-rheme” distribution in such sentence pairs. This metaphor involves the forms and meanings of language. as being close or distant to each other). such as meat. That is. that is. both big-box store (‘a large-format store. filled with a combination of things. cheese. while in submarine sandwich only the outer contour of the submarine is mapped onto the shape of the sandwich (figure 16. eggs and salad’) exemplify relatively straightforward cases of image metaphors where the shape of a box and a submarine is superimposed on the shape of a store and a sandwich. while the second does not imply this. One of the subtypes of compounds that she analyzes involves the mapping of images. The inside layout of the store corresponds to the inside shape of a box. There appears to be a conceptual metaphor that is responsible for the difference in meaning: strength of effect is closeness.e. As Benczes argues. that is. no further detail or element is taken from the source domain onto the target domain. as has been shown in a remarkable study by Réka Benczes (2006). in this metaphor. (This account of the interpretation of the preceding sentences does not rule out the possibility that other linguistic mechanisms of meaning production are also at work in such cases. Harry either learned some Greek or he did not. typically one that has a plain. A similar process takes place in big-box store: the regular shape of a box corresponds to the shape of the store. we superimpose the schematic structure of the source domain onto the target domain. In the case of submarine sandwich. Lakoff and Johnson explain this metaphor as follows: If the meaning of form a affects the meaning of form b.. and the forms themselves are given meaning (i.5.e. The basic sense of the construction involves successful transfer (of knowledge).. box-like exterior and at least 100.) 3. the notion of strength of effect) by means of the spatialization metaphors. . metaphorical image mappings work just the same way as conceptual metaphors: the structure of one domain is mapped onto another domain. Compounds that are formed out of already existing nouns are also frequently influenced by conceptual metaphor. Compounds A final area of grammar where I demonstrate the importance of conceptual metaphors is that of compounding.

that ideas are objects. The various elements of this abstract image map onto the target domain. and communication is sending (see section 2. the path of motion maps onto the motion of the diplomat. in order to try to settle the argument between them’). the diplomat . by permission of the author). where the source domain is an abstract image-schema of motion. that is. based on the movement of a shuttle. the destinations of A and B correspond to the two countries between which the diplomat tries to sooth the crisis. as denoted by diplomacy: the shuttle maps onto the diplomat. However.262 METAPHOR Figure 16. Mappings between the source and target domains of submarine sandwich and big-box store (after Benczes 2006.3 in chapter 6). In the shuttle diplomacy example. then goes from B to A in stage 2. These image-schema metaphors also show up in a number of compounds.1. the shuttle motion image-schema does not provide any explanation for the aspect of communication involved in the meaning of the compound (that diplomats are sent to pacify two parties who are not talking directly to one another). Benczes (2006) exemplifies this process with the expression shuttle diplomacy (‘the movement of diplomats between countries whose leaders refuse to talk directly to each other. I point out in chapter 3 that conceptual metaphors can also be based on the elements of very skeletal image-schemas.2). as Benczes (2006) argues. while the trajectory. This aspect might be accounted for by the conduit metaphor—namely. linguistic expressions are containers. The shuttle (trajector) moves from A to B in stage 1. following the same route (only in the opposite direction) as in stage 1 (figure 16.

is conceived of as a part-whole schema: the mother node is the whole.2. Lakoff (1987) observes several other cases in which we use image-schemas to characterize syntactic structure. 4. what we call constituent structure. Other such metaphors that linguists rely . daughter. maps onto the shuttle (the trajector moving to and fro between two destinations). container-like object. and the daughters are the parts. and linguistic theories are no exception. and obviously. On this interpretation of the conduit metaphor. which means that the diplomat is depersonified and becomes an inanimate. Representation of the SHUTTLE MOTION image-schema (after Benczes 2006. where syntactic distance is characterized by the image-schema of linear scale: strength of effect is closeness. In addition. One such metaphor is discussed in the preceding section. This is the point where the conduit metaphor comes into the picture: the shuttle-diplomat becomes the container carrying the message. and trees in connection with syntactic structure is another example of metaphorically understanding language. Linguistic Theorizing All scientific theories employ metaphors. Of greater significance for the purposes of comprehending linguistic structure are image-schema metaphors. and communication is but the sending of the shuttle-diplomat on its way. The people who construct linguistic theories commonly and inevitably use metaphors that characterize our conceptual structure in general. the talk about mother.METAPHOR AND METONYMY IN THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE 263 Figure 16. by permission of the author). the sender and the receiver of the message (that is carried by the shuttle-diplomat) are the leaders of the respective countries that have some sort of disagreement between themselves. the hierarchical structure of sentences. though it is not image-schematic understanding. For example.

Finally. These metaphors and metonymies are productive and very much alive in our conceptual system. Radden and Dirven (2007) is a cognitive linguistic introduction to English grammar for students of English.. They deal with several issues that were mentioned in the chapter.. adjective and noun constructions). Taylor (1989/1995) and Ungerer and Schmidt (1996) offer very accessible accounts of the same phenomenon. Talmy draws our attention to metaphorical aspects of grammar (e. The most comprehensive treatment of cognitive grammar is Langacker (1987. Thus. where he also discusses the role of metaphor in linguistic theory. This is not surprising because it is the container schema that we evoke to understand categories in general. Not only words but also other linguistic elements are often regarded as structured by polysemy. including cognitive linguistic theorizing. abounds in metaphor. such as noun and verb.g. No scientific discipline is imaginable without recourse to metaphor. 1991). in Talmy 1988).. Heine et al. Finally. SUMMARY A major notion in the cognitive linguistic view of language is polysemy. Taylor (1989/1995) and Taylor 1996 do the same for a variety of morphological and syntactic constructions. morphemes and grammatical constructions can be seen as polysemous.264 METAPHOR on include the center-periphery schema that characterizes head-and-modifier structures (e. Many cases of polysemy at these various levels of language are such that the elements in question are linked by conceptual metaphors and metonymies. Link schemas are used to understand and represent grammatical and coreference relations.g. In several articles.g. the container schema characterizes syntactic categories. It should be stressed that they exist independently of the linguistic elements for whose different senses they provide important cognitive links. Conceptual metaphors and metonymies also “guide” historical meaning shifts. The most extensive treatment of the issue of polysemy and its relationship to metaphor is Lakoff (1987). 1991) examine the role of metaphor in the emergence of many grammatical constructions in diverse languages of the world. Most of the well-known cases of meaning change follow the same source-to-target directions that manifest themselves in well-established metaphors. FURTHER READING The first work in cognitive linguistics that emphasizes the role of metaphor in grammar is Lakoff and Johnson (1980). Heine (1997) and Heine and his colleagues (e. Goldberg (1995) analyzes the English ditransitive construction and points out the crucial role of metaphor in understanding the various uses of the construction.. Anthropologists and psychologists influenced by the results of cognitive linguistics also pay . linguistic theorizing.

field. It was illustrated in the chapter that the word love has many senses. Ibarretxe-Antunano (1999) extends Sweetser’s ideas concerning regular processes of sense development. reanalyzed as metonymies by Kövecses and Radden (1998). Richard Trim (2007) analyzes the historical development of certain metaphor systems. and cognitive mechanisms of various kinds. Gibbs (1994). Benczes (2006) is a subtle analysis of nominal compounds in English using the machinery of cognitive linguistics. Which conceptual metaphor motivates the meanings of these words? analysis detail distinguish from ML/Greek analysis a breaking up. EXERCISES 1. Listen to the song titled “I Give Her All My Love” by the Beatles. Consider the following words and their meanings. What metonymic relationships do you recognize concerning the three senses of healthy? 3. first. and Geeraerts (1997) have done much to help us understand the role of metaphor in historical meaning change. (2) healthy complexion. Kövecses (2006) provides a panoramic overview of the many ways in which metaphor is connected with language. How can you account for the different senses of these words with the help of metonymy? 4. Look up the meanings of one of the following words in a dictionary: ruin. especially may and must. Langacker (2008) discusses a variety of issues in connection with metaphor in grammar.. and Gibbs et al. and Pelyvás (2000) is a reanalysis of Sweetser’s work on modals. taken from György László’s examples. also from OF distinguer. flood.METAPHOR AND METONYMY IN THE STUDY OF LANGUAGE 265 considerable attention to polysemy and metaphor. stem of distinguer. Clark and Clark (1979) analyze “denominal” verbs. Goossens (2000) offers an alternative to the analysis of modal verbs as typically done by cognitive linguists. from analyein unloose from F détail. and (3) healthy exercise. Haser (2000) examines the role of metaphor in semantic change. though not making use of the notion of conceptual metaphor as linking the different senses. 1982) deal with polysemy within a frame-semantic (roughly ICM) framework. More recently. Several aspects of the role of metonymy and metaphor in grammar are discussed by Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez and Uson (2007). Then analyze the nonbasic senses only. flower. from Latin distinguere to separate between . In addition. you should distinguish between the basic and the nonbasic senses. Sweetser (1990). Traugott (1985).) 2. flag.g. These authors include Palmer (1996). Try to find synonyms for the many senses of love used in the song. from OF detail small piece or quantity from MF distinguiss-. (To do the exercise. Consider the role of metonymy in the extension of the basic sense of love and give the corresponding metonymies in each case. László (1997) contains many examples of meaning shifts based on the mind-as-body metaphor. Kertész (2004) examines the role of metaphor in linguistic theorizing. Healthy is used in the sense of (1) healthy body. leg. Several studies by Fillmore (e. (1994). culture. Take philosopher John Austin’s example: the adjective healthy.

from Latin or Greek and directly from Latin metphora or from Greek metaphora a transfer. from Latin informare to shape.266 METAPHOR inform metaphor suppose syntax synthesis from OF enformer. carry over from OF supposer to assume. mathematical) . set. educate from MF metaphore. instruct. from Greek sýntaxis a putting together or in order. arrangement. from Latin supponere put or place under from F syntaxe. composition (of a medication). form. enfourmer. from metapherein transfer. train. from Greek synthesis composition (logical. and directly from LL syntaxis. syntax from Latin synthesis collection.

I have been able to account for several aspects of the human conceptual system and many cases of linguistic and nonlinguistic behavior. “Yesterday. but they are not conceptual domains like journey 267 . that of how the conceptual system operates with domains in general: how it projects elements from one to another. and it is also much more specific. The Network Model of Fauconnier and Turner Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner (1994) proposed that the issue of conceptual metaphor is a special case of a much larger one.” that is. 1. how it fuses two domains into one. For example. A mental space is always much smaller than a conceptual domain. in the moment of understanding. I saw Susan” prompts us to build a space for the speaker’s present reality and another space (yesterday) in which the speaker is seeing Susan. or conceptual space to describe this process. namely. With this one-domain (for metonymy) and two-domain (for metaphor) model. Fauconnier and Turner make use of the notion of mental. how it builds up new domains from existing ones. In this chapter I discuss some specific suggestions to this effect. A mental space is a conceptual “packet” that is built up “on-line. Nevertheless. These are mental spaces. To a large extent. there are also additional aspects of the conceptual system and many additional linguistic and nonlinguistic examples that require us to extend the model used so far. I characterize metonymy as a stand-for relationship (throughconnection) between two elements within a single conceptual domain and metaphor as an is-understood-as relationship (as-if-connection) between two conceptually distant domains. imaginative or figurative human thought is constituted by this manipulation of structured domains of experience or ICMs. Mental spaces are often structured by more than one conceptual domain.17 Metaphors and Blends I n this book. and so on.

Let us now see what the network model consists of. men cannot really become pregnant. while in the “woman domain” it is possible. for instance. Rather.268 METAPHOR or fire. the real domain of the woman. But this is not the interpretation that I am considering here. The man domain with its impossibility of becoming pregnant is blended with the woman domain with its possibility of becoming pregnant. To account for the meaning of the sentence.” it is impossible to become pregnant. There is the domain of the man and there is the domain of the woman.1. and potentially also by the domain for dating.” Suppose this sentence was said by a man to a woman who declined earlier to become pregnant. In the “man domain. The sentence integrates the two domains into a third one: the space which has the man with the possibility of becoming pregnant. I would have done it. In the blended space there is a man with the possibility of pregnancy. The blend is a matter of our imagination. Blended Space First. The “yesterday” mental space contains the specific speaker and the specific Susan. and the impossible space of the “man-woman”. of course. The examples used to demonstrate the model are taken from Fauconnier and Turner’s work. (It is also possible to get a different blended space when we understand this sentence. A mental space is not a domain but is often structured by domains. It is important to see that the same statement can be understood via different blends. 1.” The “yesterday” mental space is structured by the domain of temporal relation (yesterday versus today). the blended space of a woman when younger but with the judgment of this man.) This blended space is. Notice that the man domain and the woman domain here do not correspond to the source domain and the target domain. he conceptually blends his . but conceptual domains are much more general than that. Fauconnier and Turner’s basic suggestion is that to account for the many complexities of human thought we need not just a one-domain or two-domain model but a network (or many-space) model of human imaginative thought. consider the case of counterfactuals. we needed two conceptual domains and a mental space: the real domain of the man. the following description will have to simplify the network model and offer only its bare outlines. For lack of space for a more detailed presentation. Now consider something like “Yesterday. we get a mental space in which the man and the woman domains are integrated into a single domain: the “man-woman” domain. the space where the man domain is blended counterfactually and imaginatively with the woman domain. In other words. in order to explain the meaning of the counterfactual sentence. namely. It is not the case that the man-speaker maps properties of the woman domain onto his man-domain in order to understand the man-domain. by the domain of request and conversation. Thus. sentences such as “If I were you. In this new mental space. I asked Susan for her telephone number. an impossible domain. the man can become pregnant. we need several domains. that is.

the growth of the plants is the development and progress that people make in their lives. Input spaces are often not related metaphorically. and so on. “He passed away”). a blended space.e. that is. not because of illnesses or injuries inflicted on them by reapers. death and (the harvesting of) plants. either. Death is an event in the course of which people die of illnesses and injuries. yield a third domain: a blended space.METAPHORS AND BLENDS 269 man-domain with the woman-domain on the basis of two domains. or domains. . the relationship between the two input spaces of man and woman was not a source-target relationship. We can say. because the features of the Grim Reaper are incompatible with our stereotype of reaping and harvesting. To recapitulate. • The Grim Reaper does not reside in the source space of the reaping and harvesting of plants. however. they can be seen as constituting a case of conceptual metaphor). involves a source-target relationship between the two input spaces (i. Consider the expression “the Grim Reaper. Why doesn’t he arise from either of these input domains? • The Grim Reaper cannot reside in the target domain because there are no plants or reapers in the domain of dying. we have two input domains. that are metaphorically related as target and source. The Grim Reaper is typically visualized as a skeleton dressed in a robe and cowl that holds a scythe in his hands. the people are plants metaphor gives rise to examples such as “She’s withering away. and this event can be conceptualized as an action via the events are actions metaphor. they may form a conceptual metaphor. In the blend.” “He is a late bloomer.g.” and “He’s a young sprout. the life-cycle of the plants is the life-cycle of human beings. then. one was not metaphorically understood in terms of the other. that yield a third one. In the people are plants metaphor. This personification of death assumes two conceptual metaphors: people are plants and events are actions. it belongs to a blended space between the two. One example of this is when we refer to the event of somebody’s death as departure (e. But what does all this have to do with conceptual metaphor as in this book? Fauconnier and Turner’s proposal is that blended spaces (or domains) derive from input spaces (or domains) and these input spaces may be related to each other as source and target. events are actions is a generic-level metaphor that is used to conceptualize events as actions..” as it is used to mean death. the man can get pregnant and would intend to get pregnant. Death is an event. Now the Grim Reaper does not belong to either the source or the target domain. I already dealt with both metaphors. The particular action in terms of which the Grim Reaper is conceptualized is either cutting down people with a scythe or simply appearing before the people whom he wants to die. In other words. then.. The next example. As just shown. plants correspond to people who can be cut down by a reaper with a scythe.” The mappings include the plants are the people. that there are two input spaces. The two inputs. where death is an event and passing is a deliberate action.

actual reapers are mortal. • Six. it is the same Grim Reaper who cut our own ancestors down that will cut us down. • Second. A further crucial part of . but the reaper and the skeleton are not source and target counterparts. By contrast. but we think of death and the cause of death as grim. in contrast. However. The Grim Reaper. we do not normally think of reapers as grim. but the Grim Reaper is immortal. as discussed by Turner (1996). the Grim Reaper comes for a specific person at a specific time. The reaper in the source corresponds to the cause of the event of death. This is an example of the way in which blending often tightens metonymies: The long metonymic chain from the general cause of death to a specific cause of death to a specific event of death to the corpse to the decay to the skeleton is very much tightened in the blend. • Five. In the blend.” A further general point here is that blended spaces are not necessarily projections of source and target counterparts into a third blended space. while the Grim Reaper doesn’t necessarily do so. the source space has connotations that are incompatible with those of the target. in which the skeleton is the structural form of death. there are many actual reapers and they are interchangeable. he may bring death merely by appearing before us. acts only once (brings death) and is dressed suitable to repose. 1. in that the cause of death produces skeletons (as effect for cause). Again. the Grim Reaper is a combination of the cause of death and the skeleton from the target. • Third. But there is only one Grim Reaper who is definite. the Grim Reaper as a “skeleton dressed in a robe and cowl that holds a scythe” only exists in the blended space.2. • Four. reapers typically do their work by reaping the entire field indiscriminately. In this example. as well as the reaper from the source.270 METAPHOR • First. blended spaces may involve new elements that are not simple combinations of elements in the source and the target. The skeleton is related to the cause of death metonymically in the target. they suffice to demonstrate the point that blends do not arise from either sources or targets but from their conceptual blending in the literal sense of “blend. not paying any attention to the individual existence of plants of wheat. stereotypical reapers work for long intervals and wear clothes appropriate to their work. and not to the skeleton in the target. These are only some of the incompatibilities between the conceptual space of reaping and features of the Grim Reaper. in this case to a prototypical part-whole relationship. stereotypical reapers use their scythes to reap. This explains the use of the definite article the in the expression the Grim Reaper. for our purposes. Generic Space Fauconnier and Turner’s network model involves more than input spaces (such as source and target) and a blended space.

67) There are two input spaces here: the passage of Northern Light in 1853 and the passage of Great America II in 1993. The . The race constitutes a (possible) blended space. a destination. a departure point. The generic space contains the abstract structure taken as applying to both input spaces. from San Francisco to Boston in 1993: As we went to press. Consider the proverb “Look before you leap. In a magazine article. the reaper in the source domain of plants has death as a counterpart in the target domain of people dying. a journalist reports on the passage of a catamaran. Generic space is most easily seen in proverbs. or two inputs will share abstract structure because a conventional metaphor has established that abstract structure.” This proverb comes with a generic meaning or space: you should consider the consequences of your actions before you act. What establishes the generic space between the look-leap domain and these other domains is the metaphors thinking/considering is looking (for the looking part) and the Event Structure metaphor (for the leaping part). or correspondences. 1996. whose record run from San Francisco to Boston they’re trying to beat. and so on. This enables us to see counterparts. But the two input spaces also share abstract structure—that is. one in which the two passages by the two boats are conceived as a race. think before you buy a new house. a path. To see one such nonmetaphorical case. Rich Wilson and Bill Biewenga were barely maintaining a 4. In 1853.5 day lead over the ghost of the clipper Northern Light. think before you sign the contract. in both 1853 and 1993 there was only one boat sailing from San Francisco to Boston. generic space—which includes a boat. The proverb “Look before you leap” applies to a wide variety of actions and gives a warning: think before you marry. Now the acts of looking and leaping function as one input domain. Great America II. and all the cases to which they can apply serve as additional input domains. For example. and the like. 8 hours.” People dying and plants dying are both cases where things cease to live.METAPHORS AND BLENDS 271 their model is what they call a generic space. let us take an example that Fauconnier and Turner often discuss in their work. The shared generic structure has been established by the metaphor people are plants. It is only in the blend that there can be a race between the two boats. the clipper made the passage in 76 days. But shared abstract structure between input domains need not be established by metaphors only. and it involves entities such as “organic things” and such predicates as “living and stopping living. The two input spaces are fused into a blended space. between the two domains: between people and plants and between death as cause and reaper. think before you break up with your girlfriend. (Turner. think before you hand in your resignation. p. where action is selfpropelled motion. What is the relevance of the generic space to conceptual metaphor? It is relevant in two ways: either generic spaces can make metaphoric mappings between source and target domains possible.

shared generic space (sometimes in the form of identity structure) allows us to establish the counterparts. See figure 17. some of the counterparts are identical. 2. metaphor is a special case of the situation in figure 17. 1853 to 1993. San Francisco to San Francisco. I discuss the issue of what this model can “buy” us. then. In the rest of the chapter. but they are not metaphorical mappings. The counterparts are obvious: the Northern Light corresponds to Great America II. The Advantages of the Network Model The many-space model offers several distinct advantages. is shown in figure 17. In other words. between the input domains. and (3) we can better handle certain problems that arise in connection with the metaphor analysis as presented so far. The two inputs of the 1853 and the 1993 passages are not related as source to target. In general. or mappings. (2) we can provide more refined analyses of literary texts. generic space provides counterpart relations (mappings) between the two inputs. .1. This completes my presentation of Fauconnier and Turner’s network model. These include (1) we can make previous metaphor analyses more precise.1. In Fauconnier and Turner’s analysis. and so generic structure becomes identity structure.272 METAPHOR Figure 17.2.1. The overall picture. Blending. and Boston to Boston.

showing signs of losing control over anger as a result of a continued cause. There is no steam in the . Blending and metaphor. This analysis is adequate as far as it goes.” and “Steam was coming out of his ears. This blend is a result of projection from both the source and the target: The steam comes from the source. But there is also a blended space of an angry person with steam coming out of his ears.” To account for these and other expressions.” In the source. while the head of a person with ears comes from the target. etc. there is a container with a hot fluid inside. We hypothesized the existence of this metaphor on the basis of such expressions as “Simmer down. including the following: the heat of the fluid the container the high intensity of the heat the physical signals of the potential danger of the hot fluid keeping the fluid inside the container ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ anger the body of the angry person the high intensity of anger the behavioral signals of the potential danger of anger controlling anger. it leaves out of consideration the fact that some blending also takes place here: the source and the target domains may both project elements into a blended space. there is a person who is getting more and more angry. a number of correspondences between the source (hot fluid in a container) and the target (anger) can be suggested. One example of this blend is provided by the sentence “Steam was coming out of his ears.1.” “Let him stew for a little while. 2. which produces steam when heated. The HOT FLUID Metaphor for Anger Lakoff and Kövecses (1987) described in detail the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor. In the target.” “She was boiling with rage.2. However. like a pot.METAPHORS AND BLENDS 273 Figure 17.

There are two domains here: the scene of an imminent storm as source and the scene of the king with a messenger who just came before him with some bad news. There are texts where metaphor analysis. Some authors use the device of creating fantastic blends with great skill and can thus convey subtle messages that can only be fully understood with the help of the kind of analysis that is presented above in this chapter. These include: the appearance of the sky the imminent storm the rain ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ the appearance of the messenger’s face the bad message likely to be delivered the act of telling the bad news This set of correspondences makes it clear for us that the lines are not about the weather. and large portions of the message of the literary work remain hidden. what is really conveyed is another message. the notion of conceptual metaphor is extremely important in the study of literary texts. or mappings. King John says to a messenger who just arrived with some bad news: So foul a sky clears not without a storm. Pour down thy weather. As noted in chapter 4.274 METAPHOR target. How do we know that this is what the lines are about? The reason we know is that the mappings are the mappings of the conventional conduit metaphor for communication. One good example where our analysis of a literary text should go beyond metaphor analysis is provided by the following quote from Shakespeare’s King John.2. between the two domains. be an “all-purpose” tool. the king knows that the messenger is about to deliver some bad news to him. Let us first see what the metaphor analysis of these two famous lines would involve. no matter how revealing. in which: the mind is a container meanings are objects . literature produces a large number of blends. 2. and many of these are of the impossible kind. We could set up certain correspondences. of course. namely. What the additional analysis of these examples shows is that there are complexities that have not been recognized in previous studies but which are clearly important for a fuller account of the cognitive work that goes into the creation of such expressions on the part of speakers. But they are fused in a distinct conceptual space—the blend. can only do so much. But this notion cannot. and there is no head with ears in the source. King John The cognitive mechanism of blending can also be found in literary works. As a matter of fact.

But how does this reading arise? It can be proposed that it comes from the process of blending: certain parts of the source are blended with certain parts of the target. The blended space derives from the counterpart relation. a large portion of the text’s meaning can be captured by means of applying an ordinary. This comes from the source.METAPHORS AND BLENDS 275 linguistic expressions are containers for meaning objects communication is sending meaning objects from a mind container to another mind container along a conduit. given the correspondence between nature and the messenger. Not even kings have control over nature and rain. the king commands nature (the messenger) to rain (to talk). These correspondences are special cases of the submetaphors of the conduit metaphor complex: the sky-clouds as containers are the mind of the messenger. and the rain’s movement from the sky down to the earth is the conduit along which the message travels. or correspondence. This can only happen in the blend. but many things are happening that make his command less and less stable. between the cloudy sky and the messenger. As noted. with the help of this notion we are able to provide more accurate and revealing analyses of these cases. This subtler and fuller meaning of the lines can only be captured if we go beyond ordinary metaphor analysis and analyze the text as involving a case of conceptual blending. He appears to be in command. This comes from the target in the construction of the blend. The paradox is that. The paradox is also signaled in linguistic structure: the king gives an order to nature in the form of an imperative sentence (“Pour down”). Thus. The blend combines these two conflicting aspects and provides a basic paradox: The king commands something that he does not command. His power as king is shrinking. But there is more to the text’s meaning. which is possible. but kings have control over their messengers. the rain falling “out of” the sky is the message.3. 2. and he uses the informal second-person pronoun (“thy”) to a subordinate. These lines are said in the play at a point where King John’s rule as a king is increasingly questioned. but nature is something that is absolutely not under his command. kings have absolutely no control over nature. This is an additional and subtler reading of the play’s meaning at this point. conventional conceptual metaphor to the two lines. In the blend. a paradox arises: a messenger is completely under the king’s command. However. . At the same time. One such case involves some of the metaphors dealt with in preceding chapters. which is impossible. the notion of generic space also plays an important role in accounting for some other problematic cases. The Generalization of Metaphorical Meaning along Mappings Both the example of anger and the lines by King John represent blended spaces. given the king-messenger relationship.

. including the following: building a complex object foundation of a complex object ⇒ ⇒ creation of a complex system (e. We talk about building a country and an economic system or about constructing a theory. to attributes. and lay the foundations are used in connection with them. beneath it hid despair and cold anger. (self-confidence) The foundations are being laid for a steady increase in oil prices. law. and change are not abstract systems. As another illustration.g. a generic space is created. based on these mappings. and increase and change are processes. such as country. these are building foundation ⇒ ⇒ creation basis This means that the (sub)mappings of a metaphor can undergo a generalization process. and processes. (reputation) The self-confidence that she had built up so painfully was still paper-thin. we find that in many instances of metaphoric usage the expressions that characterize this metaphor can be used in other cases as well. To account for these usages.” A household is a complex system. self-confidence is a property or trait.’ Once this happens. the generalization process entails that they are no longer limited to complex systems as a target domain. laying the foundations of a legal system. (increase) At the same time the foundations were laid for more far-reaching changes in the future. the concepts of building and foundation can be extended beyond the domain of complex systems. and theory. The concept of the activity of building acquires the general meaning of ‘creation’ and the concept of foundation acquires the general meaning of ‘basis. self-confidence. and the like. build) basis of a complex system (e. build up.g. economic system. In other words. Reputation is an attribute.276 METAPHOR A complex metaphor discussed in chapter 10 was the complex systems are complex objects metaphor. These examples can be accounted for by the submappings of the complex systems are buildings metaphor. Consider some sample sentences from the Collins Cobuild metaphor dictionary again: During this time he has built a fine reputation for high standards in the field. we can hypothesize the existence of some very general mappings. paper-thin. properties. lay the foundations) However. increase. and yet the metaphorical expressions of build. consider the sentence taken from the complex systems are machines metaphor: “He soon had the household running like clockwork. In the examples.. In this case. so the metaphorical . (change) Reputation.

3. In this section.” 3. So. The wind is not a complex system. a generic space for regularity is created which may then apply outside complex systems—for instance. where the roles of father. we can say that “John is Mary’s father. there are typically just two spaces: a frame with roles and the elements that fit those roles. it seems that generic spaces related to conceptual metaphors arise from the generalization of mappings. mother. what makes this use possible is the generalization of the relevant mapping. mirror networks. The meaning of the expression is based on the submapping: regularity in the working of a machine ⇒ regularity in the operation of complex systems Now consider the following sentences that contain the same expression (clockwork) but not in connection with a complex system: Each day a howling wind springs up from the south with almost clockwork regularity. and other family members can be filled by certain elements. and doublescope (and multiple-scope) networks. In this type of network. and neither is a journey. The journey there went like clockwork. to events. In them. Specifically. Here again. Both of these concepts are events. The generic space will apply to cases beyond the original and most natural application. for example. I look at three of these briefly: a typology of blends. The simplest type of blending network is the simplex network. daughter.1. it cannot apply to anything indiscriminately: only domains that do have or can be regarded as having the required abstract structure can take it. In general. blending theory has produced many new ideas and analyses.” where John fills the role of father. However. a set of individual elements is blended with a frame structured by roles. A Typology of Blends Fauconnier and Turner (2002) recognize certain types of blends as especially important on a gradient of blends. . single-scope networks. concepts as blends. and “material anchors. Some More Recent Developments in the Theory of Conceptual Integration In the past decade. they distinguish four types: simplex networks. In other words.METAPHORS AND BLENDS 277 expression running like clockwork is used here in a natural way. The regularity in the operation of machines and (metaphorically) of complex systems becomes “regularity” as such. Kinship is a good example. son.

The blend is remarkable because it compresses the infinity of time (as divided up by the infinity of days) into a unit of time that human beings can easily experience: a single day. noon. . and the spaces are all structured by a single organizing frame. noon. spends his time meditating there. one for dayN. is there a place on the path that the monk occupies at the same hour of the day on the two separate journeys? The way we solve the riddle creates the mirror network.278 METAPHOR Mirror networks are somewhat more complex. Concepts as Blends Consider first the concept of day. the input spaces for days are compressed into a blended space. If a monk climbs to the top of a mountain one morning. and so on in each individual day. This is the blend. Multiple-scope networks make use of not just two but more input spaces. it is this type of network that is unique to human beings. Fauconnier and Turner consider this last type of network as the most important one. The times like dawn. the spaces in the network are similar to each other. An example often used by Fauconnier and Turner is the riddle of the Buddhist monk. There are as many input spaces as there are days: one for day1. In single-scope networks. According to Fauconnier and Turner. and the like are experienced as the same dawn. How does this concept come into being? The integration network for day consists of a series of input spaces for the particular days. evening. This often happens when we take elements from one structured space and fill roles in it with them in another structured space. one for day3. The Grim Reaper blend is an example. that is. 3. the individual dawn of yesterday. today. one for day2. and so on. The anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor is an example of this. the “receiving” space will structure the blend and the space that the elements are taken from. where the times corresponding to every individual dawn. and night are connected by “analogy connectors” that link morning to morning. morning. dusk. The place where the monk “meets himself” is the place the monk occupies on the two separate journeys. as if we talked about two different persons. We imagine the monk to start both the upward and the downward journey at the same time. This is called the Cyclic Day blend. Double-scope networks have a blended space that takes materials from both the source input and the target input. noon. and so on. When a company is said to “knock out” another company (given the business is boxing metaphor). As a result.2. say. we are dealing with a single-scope network. it is typically one of the input spaces that lends its structure to the other spaces in the network. In other words. and tomorrow are compressed into a single entity—the time of the dawn—in the blend. and then comes down the mountain the following morning. This is structured by the rising and setting of the sun in a cyclical manner. In their view. in which the input space of boxing structures the blended space (where the “knockout” occurs). morning. There are four spaces in the network. dusk to dusk. morning.

We can represent this as in figure 17.” to use Wittgenstein’s term) to the prototype. Generic spaces are just as important in the emergence of concepts. the king rules over the subjects. Concepts can be thought of as generalizations. We can ask whether the day is in the blend or in the generic space of the network.3. This is a generic space that consists of the shared properties of many specific kingdoms as input spaces. which travels through the air and lands . in the theory. wrist. In a prototypical kingdom. Such generic spaces would be defined by the best examples (or “prototypes. In trashcan basketball. that is. and slowly release the crumpled-up paper. Take the concept of kingdom. mornings. and hand like a basketball player in the course of a shot. carefully take aim of the trashcan.” and we experience the day in the blend as going through the same progression of the times of day. you crumple up the paper into a spherical shape. it is reasonable to think of them as shared conceptual materials across these input spaces. when we experience the individual days as occurring again and again. Material Anchors The blends we perform conceptually may be realized in social-physical practice. whereas the “blend” has cyclic time. take up a basketball player’s position. or generic spaces. The blend is needed to make sense of time: the infinity of linear.” It is the idea that whereas time is linear in the input spaces for the individual days. Since the individual dawns. And yet.3. (The term “material anchors” was introduced to the blending literature by Edwin Hutchins [2005]. such as dawn. The individual times of a day occur only once. and noon.” an event first analyzed by Seana Coulson (2000). This can happen both in the world of objects and in the world of events involving these objects. it is cyclical in the blend. where the conceptualization of time in the course of a day as cyclical is shown by the circular face of the clock and the hands of the clock moving around. unstructured time is reduced to human scale in the blend. especially the clock face. In them. and noons are analogous in the input spaces.METAPHORS AND BLENDS 279 There is an interesting difference between the input spaces for the individual days and the blended space for “day. Rosch’s sense (1978) of a category and similarities (in the sense of “family resemblances. Fauconnier and Turner suggest that they can be found in the blend.) An example for the former is the clock. there is a king who rules by authority over his subjects. The reason for this might be that the inputs and the “blend” display contrasting features: the inputs have linear time. morning. 3. and each had a king and his subjects. Such shared conceptual materials are. in generic space. An example for the latter is “trashcan basketball. There have been many kingdoms in the world. By contrast.” in E. instead of simply dropping a piece of wastepaper into the trashcan. the day of the blend runs its course “perpetually. move your arm. It seems as though the generic space turns into a blended space as a result of “running” the generic space. over various inputs. and then a new series of them begins.

First. Given this generic-level structure. It is clear that the game is composed of two domains: basketball and the disposing of paper into a wastebasket (see figure 17. or container. we can easily construct the disposer of trash crumpled waste wastebasket basketball player ball basket hoop Waste disposal domain (Input 1) Basketball domain (Input 2) Figure 17. a friend) notices this and does the same thing with another piece of paper. The two input spaces are structured by the frame (domain) of basketball and the frame (domain) of disposing waste paper. This is trashcan basketball. The structure looks like a conceptual metaphor. . This is the putting of a vaguely spherical object into a receptacle.4). but trashcan basketball is more complex. Another person (say. in the trashcan. The generic space for kingdom. You keep score and someone wins.3.280 METAPHOR Generic space = Kingdom Kingdom King Rule by authority Subjects Kingdom1 King1 Rule by authority1 Subjects1 Kingdom2 King2 Rule by authority2 Subjects2 Kingdomn Kingn Rule by authorityn Subjectsn Input 1 Input 2 Input n Figure 17.4. Metaphorical mappings in waste disposal is basketball. there is a generic space that contains what is shared by the source and target.

The “new game” is represented in figure 17. we have a blended space: this is where trashcan basketball is. and so on. people as basketball players. SUMMARY In this chapter. throwing the wastepaper-basketball in basketball fashion. mappings between the two activities. we can conclude that blends like this are not esoteric abstract structures in the mind. These cases are called “material anchors. we have a crumpled-up paper basketball.5. In the blend. I show that the cognitive linguistic theory of conceptual metaphor needs to be supplemented by an account of “online” processes of human understanding. All of these emerge from the projection of certain elements in the input spaces to the blended space and the fusion of the elements in that space. Playing trashcan basketball. In general. Fauconnier and Turner replace the two-domain model .5.” Physical objects and events that are material anchors make up a large part of any culture. a wastepaper-basketball basket.METAPHORS AND BLENDS Generic 281 agent roughly spherical object container Input 1 disposer of trash crumpled waste wastebasket Input 2 basketball player ball basket hoop Waste disposal domain person disposing of trash playing basketball crumpled wasteball wastebasket-hoop Basketball domain Blended space Figure 17. Second. Much of our mundane physical reality consists of blends.

Grady et al. twice shy. In this work. if any. The notion of “mental space” was introduced by Fauconnier (1985/1994). Winthrop in the target domain does not correspond to . A large number of authors have written extensively about many of the issues I have only touched on in the chapter. and a generic space. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) When the cat’s away. Fauconnier and Turner (2008) offer a reanalysis of the concept of time. It’s no use crying over spilled milk. Coulson and Oakley (2000) discuss blending theory against the background of experimental cognitive science. Some important aspects of the Puritan understanding of America can also be explained with conceptual blending. The colony was under his leadership for nearly twenty years.” Turner (1996) reviews the major ideas of blending and argues that at the heart of our cognitive capacity is the “literary mind. who led the Israelites back from Babylon to their promised land. we can provide subtler analyses of literary texts. the mice will play. The model consists of input spaces.g. http:// markturner. establish the generic space in these cases? Find appropriate situations where these proverbs could be applied to describe the events at hand. The early bird catches the worm. 2. who was an important leader of the Puritans: He was elected governor of the Company of Massachusetts Bay in 1629.” not the “logical mind. Fauconnier and Turner (1994) provide a detailed description of their ideas regarding “conceptual projection” and “middle spaces. Much of this literature can be found on the Internet (e. FURTHER READING The definitive work in conceptual integration theory is Fauconnier and Turner (2002). and we can describe certain conceptual phenomena with greater systematicity than was available before. a blended space. For instance.” Fauconnier (1997) contains a comprehensive overview of the “network” model. Mather talks about Winthrop’s life and actions in terms of Nehemiah’s life and actions. EXERCISES 1. (1999) discuss the relationship between metaphor and blending.html). Challenging “standard” conceptual metaphor theory. which can account for several metaphorical and nonmetaphorical aspects of online understanding. Turner and Fauconnier (1995) discuss some of the implications of their theory for grammatical analysis. Nehemiah was a high Jewish official in Persia.. What generic abstract structure characterizes the following proverbs? Which metaphors. Here.org/blending. in that with its help we can account for certain metaphor-related phenomena more fully. The model offers some distinct advantages. however. Once burned. A barking dog never bites. the Puritan writer Cotton Mather wrote a longish work about John Winthrop.282 METAPHOR of conceptual metaphor with a network model.

Blends of the human and the animal occur frequently in folk tales and literature. The company decided to set up a focus group meeting to look into the matter. Consider A. (a) Characterize the blended space where the bizarre images of murdered men can appear. What resides in the input. Milne’s story. Winnie the Pooh. What do you think is blended from the source space and the target space in the characters of Winnie the Pooh. try to discover how blending applies to this case.METAPHORS AND BLENDS 283 Nehemiah in the source domain. and Owl? 4. there are a number of talking animals. Tigger. sales figures revealed that the new product was not very popular among women. by doing the part of a neighbor among the distressed people of the new plantation. when there were Tobijahs and Sanballats enough to vex him. . Some of the drawings featured bizarre images with symbols of death and murdered men. in the generic. as our New English Nehemiah. . Piglet. and the blended spaces? But whilst [John Winthrop] thus did. the part of a ruler in managing the public affairs of our American Jerusalem. this nineteen-year old boy is close to become the Mike Tyson of 2010! He has the old champion’s courage and strength. The idea was to replace the earlier “roach spray” product. 231) 3. and give him the experiment of Luther’s observation [A man in authority is a target at which Satan and the world launch all their darts]. (b) List any related conceptual metaphors. will he? Based on what you have learned about conceptual integration in this chapter. Eeyore. Rabbit. Tyson at the age of twenty became the youngest world champion in the same stadium here in Las Vegas twenty-two years ago. . Only thirty seconds are left from the last round. Will this boy break the master’s record. which was messy and smelly. . . In this tale. On the basis of the following quote from Mather. An American company decided to put a “roach trap” on the market designed to kill roaches. A. Imagine a sports commentator excitedly saying the following at a boxing match: Ladies and Gentleman. and draw a visual representation. . They preferred the roach spray to the much cleaner roach trap because they enjoyed watching the roaches die. The moderator of the focus group asked the participants to draw pictures of their different associations with regard to the product. how would you account for the commentator’s words? Which type of blending is this an example of? Try to identify the elements of the different spaces. the primary target group. They concluded that women associated roaches with men who had left them at some point in their lives. The company had psychologists analyze the drawings. (Cotton Mather 1702. However. . 5. he made himself still an exacter parallel unto that governor of Israel.

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2004b. Chilton and Ilyin. as studied by Lynne Cameron and her colleagues. 1. Koller. 2004a. I identify several contextual factors that contribute to metaphorical creativity. that is. Cameron. the discussion of creativity requires even more.g. 2008). 2004. 1993. Semino. The coherence metaphors can be either intertextual or intratextual. 2005. First. 1996.18 Metaphor in Discourse I n chapter 17. Charteris-Black. 2000. Shortly after arriving in Durham. Third. One of the best examples of this is how several biblical metaphors have been recycled over the ages. Ritchie. We need to look at entire discourses and study their several creative aspects. 2000. Deignan. 1. 285 . I discuss metaphorical coherence—both within and across discourses. Musolff. 2003.. Chilton. metaphors can either make several different texts coherent with each other or lend coherence to a single piece of discourse. I focus on what we can call “context-induced” metaphors. Eubanks. I deal briefly with face-to-face discourse. Intertextual Coherence In some cases of intertextuality. intertextual coherence is achieved through inheriting and using a particular conceptual metaphor at different historical periods. Metaphorical Coherence in Discourse Most researchers who work on metaphor in real discourse would agree that a major function of the metaphors we find in discourse is to provide coherence to discourse (e. 2004. I show how blending theory is a necessary step in offering a richer and more complete account of the creativity of human language and thought. In this chapter. England. Second. 2006.1. 2004. However.

or mappings. Finally. Amen.286 METAPHOR in the winter of 2008. both historically and simultaneously. and for the shepherd to bring the sheep back to the fold is for Jesus to save the people. This type of intertextuality characterizes not only Christianity (and other religions) through time but many other domains within the same historical period. The metaphor that structures the discourse does not necessarily have to be a deeply entrenched conventional conceptual metaphor—it can be. March 20. a set of people different from those who lived in either Jesus’ or Cuthbert’s times. . the same conceptual metaphor can lend coherence to a single text. the particular values of the metaphor change again. to give up his job (which. Jesus Christ our Lord. 2007. more explicitly as follows: Source the shepherd the lost sheep the fold of the sheep the shepherd bringing Target Jesus the people who do not follow God the state of people following God Jesus saving the people back the sheep ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ This metaphor was reused later on when God called a simple man. significantly. Intratextual Coherence In a similar fashion. the fold of the sheep is people’s home with God. Mercifully grant that we. following his example and caring for those who are lost. was being a shepherd) and become a “shepherd of people.2. Thus a metaphor can provide coherence across a variety of discourses. I was given a bookmark in Durham Cathedral with the following text on it: Almighty God Who called your servant Cuthbert from keeping sheep to follow your son and to be shepherd of your people. We can lay out these correspondences. in a recent recycling of the metaphor in the prayer said on St Cuthbert’s day. the lost sheep are the people who no longer follow God’s teachings. named Cuthbert. where I did the research for this work. It is the priests who live today who try to bring people back to the fold—again. the basic conceptual metaphor is the one in which the shepherd is Jesus. may bring them home to your fold. In the prayer.” Here it is Cuthbert (not Jesus) who saves the lost people (a set of people different from those in Jesus’ times). Through your son. 1.

only to be required to jump even higher? And then possibly higher still. only higher. and as a reward for its heroic effort is promptly brought back and asked to do it all over again. Aspirational enough to keep them all in power. clearly bring only punishment. Hard work and willingness. This is a common rhetorical function that metaphors are . he plants his front feet in the ground and shakes his head. raising the obstacles to giving more difficult targets. And says. having to jump over the obstacles to being subject to assessment. where the poor. Why on earth should they bother straining heart. But then in the fourth paragraph the author lays out the correspondences for us. however. February 4. clearing the obstacles to achieving the targets. where we are examined against the objectives we were set the previous year.METAPHOR IN DISCOURSE 287 what we can call. however. From this point onward. ponders the clever horse as he chomps in the stable that night. Times [London]. riders to managers. the red walls as obstacles to the targets people have to achieve. At the end. And so next time he’s asked to canter up to the big red wall. the Horse Show to life. This elaborate metaphorical analogy provides a great deal of structure for the text. a “metaphorical analogy” of any kind. dumb horse is brought into the ring. we’ve reached the point where whipping doesn’t work. the bar may be set at what the politicians regard as a reasonable height. I’ve never felt anything but admiration for those puissance horses which. then tasked with new ones. Clearly. sinew and bone to leap higher than their own heads. probably to make sure that we understand precisely what she has in mind: Thus it is with work-related targets. but a carrot and a short rest just might. what do you take me for—an idiot? (Melanie Reid. with only the first two words (“performance targets”) suggesting what the analogy is all about. Most of us will in the course of our careers be subject to performance assessments. taken from the beginning of a newspaper article: Performance targets are identical to the puissance at the Horse of the Year Show. You know the one—the high-jump competition. swiftly realize that the game is a bogey. the article uses predominantly literal language with some of the metaphorical language of the Horse Show interspersed in the text. most of the structure of the text is given in terms of the metaphor up to this point in the article. the metaphor is used here at the end of the article to make a point emphatically. the metaphor comes back in full force: Oh. and so on and so forth. As a matter of fact. 2008) Here puissance horses are compared to people. From the perspective of the weary horse. asked to clear a massive red wall. Consider the following three paragraphs. not so dumb at all.

1997). The time to trust a politician most is not when they’re taking the easy option. or “rule. However. can only move forward: that is. he. We push the metaphor as far as it fits the target for our purposes. it is good to have a reverse gear.” an entire discourse or a stretch of it. Often. Blair tries to present himself here as forward-looking politician who has clear and. A particularly apt illustration of this happening is provided by Elena Semino (2008). he uses knowledge about the target domains to effect changes in the source domain that he employs to achieve his rhetorical purpose in the situation. I used to do a few of them.288 METAPHOR assigned to perform in discourse. once introduced. This way. Forward or back. conceptual metaphors (or metaphorical analogies) appear to have the effect of taking over what one says or thinks about a particular subject matter.. I can only go one way.) So we have in the source domain a car without a reverse gear that cannot move backward. the politician. where it is a good thing to have a car with a reverse gear. In setting up this image. Any politician can do the popular things. only forward. What I want to underscore here is that. 2002. in addition to providing some of the internal coherence of the text. à la Fauconnier and Turner. he uses the conventional conceptual metaphors progress is motion forward and purposeful activities are journeys. what he takes to be. This situation has its dangers and can be the source of other people turning a metaphor against us in a debate over contentious issues. metaphors are often exploited for such and similar rhetorical functions (e. (We could analyze this situation as a case of conceptual integration. Following the speech in which Blair used the “car without reverse gear” image. conceptual metaphors or metaphorical analogies can predominate. however. can only do things in the name of progress. the source image can be modified somewhat. in many cases. only forward.g. Tony Blair used the following metaphor in one of his speeches: Get rid of the false choice: principles or no principles. The “edge of a cliff” in the source symbolizes an especially difficult and dangerous situation. Goatly. I know. but he also employs a little trick to achieve this: he portrays himself as a car without a reverse gear. Thus. In other words. we are not aware of potential further “usurpations” of the metaphor against our intentions. I’ve not got a reverse gear. In the same way as a car without a reverse gear cannot move backward. . Obviously. Replace it with the true choice. an anchorman on the BBC evening news remarked: But when you’re on the edge of a cliff. on such occasions. Wouldn’t it be good to have a reverse gear then? Semino (2008) found an example where this is precisely what happens. and we have in the target a politician who can and wants to achieve progressive goals alone. progressive goals and wants to reach those goals. Let us suppose that the car gets to the edge of a cliff.

that are defined or constituted by conceptual metaphors. and when we believe that marriage is some kind of a union (marriage is a physical unity). (But see chapter 4 on certain forms of creativity in literature. And they are so constituted unconsciously and without any cognitive effort. There are many concepts. This often happens in political debates. when we define our goals as “goals to be reached” (purposes are destinations). as Semino points out. This is the case when emotions are viewed as forceful entities inside us (emotions are forces).METAPHOR IN DISCOURSE 289 In the target.) I discuss various types of metaphorical creativity in this section. the metaphor can be turned against the original user. If correct. a part of our conceptual system consists of abstract concepts that are metaphorically defined. If all there is to metaphor is static conceptual structures matched by highly conventional linguistic expressions. or mappings. The definition of abstract concepts by means of metaphor takes place automatically and unconsciously. the dangerous situation corresponds to the Iraqi war. We take these metaphorical “definitions” as givens that are literal. 2. Target-Induced Metaphorical Creativity in Discourse Now let us see one way in which certain unconventional and novel metaphors in discourse can be handled with the help of a modified version of CMT. I believe that this kind of definition of abstract concepts takes place at what I call the “supraindividual” level of conceptualization (see chapter 19). when we think of abstract complex systems as growing. it would have been good for Blair to change his views and withdraw from the war.1. in the view of the journalist and others. With the change. It would follow from this that such conceptual structures manifest themselves in the form of highly conventional metaphorical linguistic expressions (like the metaphorical meanings in a dictionary) based on such mappings. developing (abstract complex systems are plants). we often come across novel metaphorical expressions in real discourse. Thus. such as the ones just mentioned. 2. static conceptual structures (the correspondences. this view does not easily lend itself to an account of metaphorical creativity. It is the supraindividual level in the sense that it consists of a static and highly conventionalized system of mappings between physical source and abstract target domains. that is. between a source and a target domain). Because of . Clearly. it would seem that CMT runs into difficulty in accounting for the many unconventional and novel expressions we find in discourse. instead of “plunging” the country into it. where. Metaphorical Creativity in Discourse One of the criticisms of the conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) is that it conceives of metaphors as highly conventional. In the “standard” CMT view. a metaphor that a speaker introduces and that can initially be seen as serving the speaker’s interests in persuading others can be slightly but significantly changed.

in this case. June 3. would be that the abstract target concept of political structure is constituted by these mappings. but the construction of a house of Europe as laid down in the Maastricht treaty. p. and. and chapter 10. while the second is based on both abstract structure is physical structure (of the building) (pillar) and abstract lastingness is the stability of the physical structure (to stand) (weight-bearing). 222): We want a Europe that’s not just an elevated free trade area. 2000b. the source domain of building and the target domain of. a metaphor discussed earlier in chapter 10. that . That is. Grady. 1997) The first example is based on the submetaphor the creation of abstract structure is building (construction). political structure is characterized by these mappings (e. (Guardian [Manchester]. 1994) The common currency is the weight-bearing pillar of the European house. As an illustration. we find numerous examples based on these mappings in the discourse on the integration of Europe in the 1990s. My claim. A more general conceptual metaphor of which the house metaphor is an instantiation is abstract complex systems are buildings. former Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev’s metaphor in the early 1990s of the common european house. These examples show that political structure is thought about in terms of the building metaphor. we tend to think of these abstract concepts as literal. 1997b). in line with the argument above. Kövecses. europe (a political structure) is a common house. or.g. let us consider an example taken from Chilton and Lakoff’s (1995) work on the application of the building metaphor to the political domain.. in particular. in its full form.290 METAPHOR the automatic and unconscious nature of the mappings. as analyzed by Musolff (2000. importantly. (Guardian [Manchester]. the notion of political structure (as in the discussion of the unification of European countries into a single political entity) is in part defined by the following metaphors: political structures are buildings abstract complex systems are buildings And. indeed. 1995a. 1997a. This metaphor has several mappings that can be given as submetaphors within the general metaphor. July 6. specifically: the creation of abstract structure is building abstract structure is physical structure (of the building) abstract lastingness is the stability of the physical structure (to stand) According to CMT.

e. it’s obvious. Bonn) At the moment. structure.) But in the course of the debate about the unification of Europe at the time. Notice that there is a reversal here.. May 20. In a dynamic discourse situation. (Translation from Die Zeit. then the speaker can talk about a “building without fire-escapes” – a part of the source that is obviously outside the conventionally used aspects of the source but that fits the target nevertheless. then speakers should not talk about any of these things in connection with political structure. are inevitably constituted by metaphor. we can use any component of this source that fits elements of the target. Musolff (2000) provides a large number of metaphorical expressions that were not supposed to be used (according to the “standard” CMT view). January 10. (Guardian [Manchester].and Information Office. 1998) Given these examples of metaphor usage. (Times [London]. after so many years as chancellor?—Well. and even caretakers and fire escapes. 1997) [The European house is] a building without fire-escapes: no escape if it goes wrong. many expressions other than those that fit and are based on these submetaphors were used in the press. 1998) [It is a] burning building with no exits. such as construction. pp. at the supraindividual level). the examples above demonstrate that. Here are Musolff’s (2000. if one has a negative view of the unification of Europe and has problems with. Once we have a source domain that conventionally constitutes a target. (Translation from Die Zeit. in real discourse. structure. the apartments. But they do. the activated target domain (such as political structure) in the discourse can indeed select components of the source (such as building) that fit a particular target idea or purpose. May 2. If the building metaphor is limited to the previously mentioned highly static and conventional aspects of the target domain. the German occupants of the first floor apartment in the “European house” seem to think that foreigners from outside the continent should be content with living in the rubbish bin.METAPHOR IN DISCOURSE 291 certain aspects of this abstract entity (and of many additional ones). May 16. In other words. 1992) What does he [Chancellor Kohl] need this house for. For example. (Documentation by the Federal Press. unconventional and novel linguistic metaphors can emerge not only from . There was talk about the roof. it seems that metaphors can do more than just automatically and unconsciously constitute certain aspects of target domains in a static conceptual system (i. say. 220–221) examples: We are delighted that Germany’s unification takes place under the European roof. and strength in relation to political structure. (Notice the unavoidably metaphorical character of the words construction. the difficulty of leaving the union in case it does not work out for a particular country. the occupants. he wants to become the caretaker. and strength.

events are movements. The concepts that participate in discourse may give rise to either conventional or unconventional and novel linguistic metaphors. We can say that the progress accelerates. seem to produce unconventional and novel metaphors: (1) the immediate linguistic context itself. The novel example of having no reverse gear. for example. is initiated from the target domain. even more generally.2. and (5) the immediate cultural context. and many others. this mechanism seems to serve us well in accounting for the creation of many unconventional and novel metaphorical expressions in real discourse. Albeit limited in this sense. They are all based on the conventional generic-level mapping intensity is speed. Suppose. Context-Induced Creativity In the subsections below. (2) what we know about the major entities participating in the discourse. (3) the physical setting. that we talk about the progress of a particular process and want to say that the progress has become more intense. (4) the social setting. It is limited because these expressions come from a source that is already constitutive of the target. There are surely others.292 METAPHOR conventionally fixed mappings between a source and a target domain but also from mappings initiated from the target to the source. but I limit myself to the discussion of these five. 2. 2. as it applies to the concept of progress (in relation to a process). The initial and original constitutions of the target by a particular source puts limitations on which new metaphorical expressions can be created on the basis of the source and then applied to the target.1. or factors.2. several such contextual aspects. I discuss another source of creativity in the use of metaphors in real discourse. and the second example of how it is good to have a reverse gear on the edge of a cliff is actually motivated by both the target and the source. as illustrated. moves faster. However. picks up or gathers speed. the particular concepts that refer to the specific process we are talking about may influence the selection of the linguistic metaphorical . The larger metaphors within which the mapping intensity is speed works are also wellestablished ones: progress is motion forward and. There are many ways in which this can be done. These are all relatively conventional ways of talking about an increase in the intensity of a process. In particular. gains momentum. These are cases where the emergence of particular metaphorical expressions is due to the influence of some aspect of discourse. the selection of the unconventional and novel metaphorical expressions is somewhat limited in this type of metaphorical creativity. However. The Effect of the Linguistic Context on Metaphor Use Let us provisionally think of discourse as being composed of a series of concepts organized in a particular way. This mechanism can also account for the examples from Semino’s work (discussed in the preceding section). speeds up.

as a matter of fact. in the metaphor.2. we have shifting gear for going faster). I discuss three such examples. in that order. 1997) . Meciar. It reads: The Americanization of Japan’s car industry shifts into higher gear. The Effect of Knowledge about Major Entities in the Discourse on Metaphor Use In other cases. the concepts that surround the conceptual slot where we need an expression to talk about “an increase in intensity” (of the progress of a process). This gave a Hungarian journalist a chance to use the following metaphor that is based on this particular property of the former Slovak president: A pozsonyi exbokszolóra akkor viszünk be atlanti pontot éro ütést. 2. it makes sense to use the motion of a car. The linguistic metaphors we actually use may be much less conventional than the ones mentioned above. consider a headline from the Wall Street Journal Europe (January 6. the speaker or conceptualizer. or. and the entity or process we talk about (topic). I propose that this particular expression is selected because of the influence of the immediate linguistic context.METAPHOR IN DISCOURSE 293 expression in talking about the intensity of the progress at hand. the hearer (addressee or conceptualizer). it seems to be our knowledge about the entities participating in the discourse that plays a role in choosing our metaphors in real discourse. and the addressee or conceptualizer. more intense.2. and not the motion of some other entity capable of motion. 2003). The Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet (Hungarian Nation) carried an article some years ago about some of the political leaders of neighboring countries who were at the time antagonistic to Hungary. September 13. Here. we find it natural and highly motivated that the author of the utterance uses the expression shifts into higher gear in that conceptual slot in the discourse. Since the process is that of the Americanization of Japan’s car industry. (Hungarian Nation. and the suggestion is that it has become. involving the topic. by a large number of additional ones that could be used (such as galloping ahead). or is becoming. Major entities participating in discourse include the speaker (conceptualizer). ha ˝ az ilyen helyzetekben megszokott nyugati módra “öklözünk”: megveto ˝ távolságot tartva. the author uses the relatively unconventional linguistic metaphor shifts into higher gear (which is also an instance of the general metonymy action for result. where shifting into higher gear results in higher speed: that is. As an example. Instead of describing the property of “increase in intensity” by any of the conventional linguistic metaphors discussed above. One of them. used to be a boxer. the process is the Americanization of Japan’s car industry. Since the surrounding context includes the car industry. the then Slovak president.

and the like. of course.294 METAPHOR We deal a blow worth an Atlantic point to the ex-boxer of Bratislava if we box in a western style. the journalist chose boxing because of his knowledge (shared by many of his readers) about one of the entities that constitute the topic of the discourse.” At first. we also assume that both boxers want to win and that the participating politicians want the same (whatever winning means in politics). all of which could potentially be used to talk about confrontational international politics. “Keeping an aloof distance” probably comes into the discourse as a result of the author thinking about the target domain of politics. It is also possible to find cases where the selection of a metaphor depends on knowledge about the conceptualizer himself or herself. In all probability. In using the metaphor confrontational international politics is boxing. Jump photographs old painted mural advertisements in New York City. In the author’s view. as customary in these circumstances: keeping an aloof distance. sports. In his own words: In the beginning. sports. but he has outlived his expected life span. The boxer corresponding to the politician and the blows exchanged corresponding to the political statements made are explicitly present in the discourse in question. the manner in which the boxers box and politicians argue is not a part of the conventional framework of the metaphor. The conceptual metaphor operative here could be put as follows: surviving aids despite predictions to the contrary is for the old mural advertisements to survive their expected “life span. [my translation] Confrontational international politics is commonly conceptualized as war. An example comes from an article in the magazine A&U [Art and Understanding] (March 2003) about photographic artist Frank Jump. The process is then similar to what is shown above in the discussion of the european house metaphor. He has AIDS. the author is relying on both some conventional and some unconventional mappings. His life and his art are intimately connected metaphorically. There are many different kinds of war. I didn’t make the connection between the subject matter and my own sero-positivity. Jump was not consciously aware that he works within the frame of a conceptual metaphor that relies on his condition. sports. However. detached manner. the metaphor was selected and elaborated as a result of what the conceptualizer knows about the topic. and this is that makes up the conventional part of the metaphor. What is common to the war. What corresponds to this way of doing politics in boxing is that you box in a way that you keep an aloof distance from your opponent. What is especially intriguing about such cases is that the author’s (conceptualizer’s) knowledge about himself or herself does not need to be conscious. games. that they all focus on and highlight the notion of winning in relation to the activity to which they apply. In the previous case. In addition. politics regarding Meciar should be conducted in a cool. and games metaphors is. and games. This is their shared “meaning focus” (see chapter 10). I was asked to be part of the Day Without .

In addition. in that a man (Beckham) is compared to a figure. among possibly . . (unconscious) self-knowledge leads the conceptualizer to find the appropriate analogy.3. which shows that the language of the addressee must have influenced the choice of the metaphor. The first one reads: “Dear Signor Capello” [my italics]. the comparison is given in Italian. “Don’t you see the connection? You’re documenting something that was never intended to live this long. namely.METAPHOR IN DISCOURSE 295 Art exhibition a few years ago and didn’t think I was worthy—other artists’ work was much more HIV-specific. You never intended to live this long. 2. But my mentor said. a reader congratulates and offers advice to the newly elected head coach of the England football team. The analogy is appropriate because the source and the target domains share schematic structural resemblance. The metaphor is created by Frank Jump as a novel analogy—the unconscious but nevertheless real analogy between surviving one’s expected life span as a person who has AIDS and the survival of the mural advertisements that were created to be around on the walls of buildings in New York City for only a limited amount of time. The physical setting comprises. the new Italian head coach. The resulting metaphor(ical analogy) is novel and creative. Although the use of the word Signor could not be interpreted as a metaphor. p. partly in Italian is an indication that. italics in the original] It is clear that the metaphor surviving aids despite predictions to the contrary is for the old mural advertisements to survive their expected “life span” is anything but a conventional conceptual metaphor. . with which the author addresses the intended recipient of the message. The Effect of Physical Setting on Metaphor Use The physical setting may also influence the selection and use of particular metaphors in discourse. in general. . the fact that the English author addresses the recipient (Signor Capello). The article offers us a glimpse of how knowledge about the addressee can give rise to novel metaphors in discourse. There are two examples in the article that point in that direction.” [p.2. In the Comments section of the Times of London (January 30. and it comes about as a result of what the conceptualizer knows about himself. a shape—a schematic word for geometric forms. a part of what we know about the addressee in all probability plays a role in the selection of the metaphor. the addressee plays a role in how we select linguistic items for our particular purposes in the discourse. 14). The second example is as follows: “Beckham is a good footballer and a nice man: e una bella figura” (italics in the original). His or her specific recommendation is that Fabio Capello. This is the first sentence of the article. More generally. despite the fact that Beckham did not play top-class football for several months at the time. an Italian. 2008. This example comes much closer to being a metaphor. should play David Beckham against Switzerland in an upcoming game at Wembley Stadium. the new Italian head coach of the English team. an entity existing longer than expected. In this case. Fabio Capello. 27.

the physical events and their consequences that make up or are part of the setting. The journalist comments: The 2005 hurricane capsized Domino’s life. we use them in a social context as well. though it is not a conventional linguistic manifestation of either the general journey or the more specific sea journey source domains. September 21. (USA Today. 6B) The metaphorical statement “The 2005 hurricane capsized Domino’s life” is based on the general metaphor life is a journey and its more specific version life is a sea journey. p. two years after the devastation wreaked by hurricane Katrina. no matter how unconventional it may seem. It can involve anything from the social relationships that obtain between the participants of the discourse through the gender roles of the participants to the various social occasions in which the discourse takes place. the various aspects of the physical environment. when the city of New Orleans was still struggling with many of the consequences of the hurricane.4. September 21. I suggest that this verb is selected by the journalist as a result of the (still) visible consequences in New Orleans of the hurricane as a devastating physical event. one of the great living musicians based in flood-stricken New Orleans. The sea journey source domain is chosen probably because of the role of the sea in the hurricane. the hurricane that destroyed his house and caused a lot of damage to his life and that of many other people in New Orleans. 2007. I briefly discuss physical events and their consequences here. (USA Today. p. and the perceptual qualities that characterize the setting. As mentioned. the verb capsize is used (as opposed to. How physical events and their consequences may produce novel or unconventional metaphors in discourse is well demonstrated by a statement made by the American journalist who traveled to New Orleans to do an interview with Fats Domino. 6B) How can we account for the use of the metaphor “rebuilds his life” in this text? We could simply suggest that this is an instance of the life is a building . run aground). Let us take an example for the last possibility from the American newspaper USA Today. 2. The journalist describes in part Domino’s life after Katrina. The social context can be extremely variable. The physical setting thus possibly triggers extension of an existing conventional conceptual metaphor and causes the speaker or conceptualizer to choose a metaphorical expression that best fits that setting. in 2007 the newspaper carried an article about Fats Domino. though he’s loath to confess any inconvenience or misery outside of missing his social circle. 2007. More important. The subtitle of the article reads: The rock ‘n’ roll pioneer rebuilds his life—and on the new album “Goin’ Home.” his timeless music.296 METAPHOR other things. say.2. The Effect of Social Setting on Metaphor Use When we use metaphors.

Of the potentially possible choices. potentially available conceptual metaphors (and corresponding metaphorical expressions) that could also be used to achieve a comparable semantic effect. the social setting may not be easily distinguished from the “cultural context. a real-world instance of a source domain is more likely to lead to the choice of a source concept of which it is an instance than to that of a source domain of which it is not. the choice of the conceptual metaphor life is a building. The Effect of the Immediate Cultural Context on Metaphor Use In some cases. it is the life is a building metaphor that is selected for the purpose. August 17. These and similar metaphors would enable the speaker or conceptualizer and the hearer to come to the interpretation that the rebuilding idea activates.METAPHOR IN DISCOURSE 297 conceptual metaphor and that whatever meaning is intended to be conveyed by the expression is most conventionally conveyed by this particular conceptual metaphor and this particular metaphorical expression.” But the situation to be described below is probably more cultural than social. at the time of the interview.2.’ ” (San Francisco Chronicle. But. “He’s a unique commodity—unless there happens to be a whole sea of immigrant body builders who are coming here to run for office. p. this may not entirely justify the use of the expression. A16) Of interest in this connection are the metaphors He’s a unique commodity and particularly This is ‘Rise of the Machine. There are other. In other words. in that it lacks such straightforward social elements and characteristics as power and social relations and roles.” said Bill Whalen. In this sense. 2003. hence. but the first Arnold Schwarzenegger. of certain preferred metaphorical expressions in discourse. the social setting may play a role in the selection of certain preferred conceptual metaphors and. this is because. it can be suggested that the social situation (rebuilding his house) triggered.’ not ‘Attack of the . 2. This is ‘Rise of the Machine. Consider the following example taken from the San Francisco Chronicle. x got it to work again or restarted it.’ not ‘Attack of the Clones. in which Bill Whalen. Domino was also in the process of rebuilding his house that had been destroyed by the hurricane. If this is correct. Two that readily come to mind include the life is a journey and the life is a machine conceptual metaphors. however. a professor of political science in Stanford and an advisor to Arnold Schwarzenegger. In all probability. uses metaphorical language concerning the actor who later became the governor of California: “Arnold Schwarzenegger is not the second Jesse Ventura or the second Ronald Reagan. then. We could also say that x set out again on his or her path or that after his or her life broke down. a Hoover Institution scholar who worked with Schwarzenegger on his successful ballot initiative last year and supports the actor’s campaign for governor. or facilitated.5.

e. as just noted. knowledge about the topic and the cultural context may cooccur and jointly influence how the conceptualizer will express himself or herself metaphorically in real discourse.’ The first one is based on a completely conventional conceptual metaphor: people are commodities. they were part and parcel of the immediate cultural context. In other words.2). The notion is intended to capture the idea that we are under constant pressure to be coherent with the situations (contexts) in which we speak and think metaphorically. what sanctions the use of these metaphorical expressions has to do with the knowledge that the conceptualizer (Whalen) has about the topic of the discourse (Schwarzenegger). For example. Metaphor Use in Face-to-Face Discourse The discussion so far in the chapter does not mention an important type of discourse: face-to-face conversation.1. mostly journalistic. Significantly. First. But this does not mean that in reality they always occur in an isolated fashion. conventional metaphorical expressions. Lynne Cameron and her colleagues have done a great deal of work . What makes Bill Whalen produce these unconventional metaphors. The examples of discourse given so far are all written. it is reasonable to expect them to cooccur in real discourse.. the contextual factors will simply lead to the emergence and use of well-worn. however. but it is the key to understanding the contrast between individual and copy that Whalen is referring to. 2003). the second movie. In other words. I have tried to show the relevance to the selection of discourse metaphors of each of the factors one by one. as discussed in a previous section (section 2. and what allows us to understand them? There are. two reasons. 3.298 METAPHOR Clones. Attack of the Clones does not feature Schwarzenegger. pieces of discourse. but in others they may produce genuinely novel or at least unconventional expressions. I suggest. Second. The other two are highly unconventional and novel. As noted. at the time of speaking (i. The Combined Effect of Factors on Metaphor Use For the sake of the clarity of analysis. As a matter of fact. as shown by the very word commodity to describe the actor. everyone knew about in California and the United States.2. 2. We can represent the joint workings of these factors in figure 18. In some cases. 2005). focus their attention on the use of metaphors in face-to-face conversations. and less obvious but more important for the purpose at hand. and obviously. Some researchers. all the factors can trigger the use of metaphors in the discourse.6. We can call this mechanism the “pressure of coherence” (Kövecses. it is because Arnold Schwarzenegger played in the first of these movies. he uses the metaphors because these are movies that.2.

Pat Magee. it can be redeployed. They also think of talk as dialogic. in that the use of particular metaphors is inevitably influenced by taking into account one’s conversational partner’s ideas. 2007. the same metaphorical word or phrase is used by either the same or the other speaker with a different topic. they do not handle examples of metaphor as isolated instances of certain conceptual metaphors. emotions. Much of this work is based on the analysis of “reconciliation talk”—talk between an ex-member of the Irish Republican Army.g. and so on. 2007. who planted a bomb. or dropped (Cameron. Cameron.. Jo Berry (daughter of Sir Anthony Berry). Cameron and her colleagues (e. such as repetition. 2008). perspective. that is. In this view. 2007).1 on this type of discourse. and at the scale of the entire series of conversations between the two participants devoted to the same topic or goal. In the case of metaphor development. the same word or phrase is used again with the same topic. developed. that . and the daughter of a victim. 2008) use a dynamic model of talk. Metaphor development can be achieved by means of a variety of processes.METAPHOR IN DISCOURSE 299 PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT SOCIAL SETTING CULTURAL CONTEXT speaker / conceptualizer hearer / conceptualizer topic flow of discourse Figure 18. and contrast (Cameron. explication. relexicalization. This means that these researchers see what happens metaphorically in face-to-face conversation at a particular moment as influenced by what has already happened in the discourse and as influencing what happens later—sometimes years later in the case of recurring pieces of conversation between the same two people. at the timescale of the conversation. This work is both similar to and different from the approach taken in this chapter and this book in general. once a linguistic metaphor is introduced into the discourse. Let us see its main characteristics in a somewhat simplified form. In redeployment. The development of the face-to-face interaction (discourse) can be studied at several different timescales: at the moment-bymoment timescale of utterances.

y. . . saw this as a journey etcetera.” This is an example of repetition: twice by the same speaker. . where the phrase elaborates the object of see. . 2007. or nonmetaphorical. . and once by the other. . you were you were aware that there’s a .” and this suggests that the reconciliation process is seen as a journey by the participants.300 METAPHOR took place in 2000. Such systematic metaphors “connect the local level of metaphor use to the discourse event level” (Cameron. there’s another mountain to climb now one step at a time There are three examples here that have to do with “journey. Systematic metaphors are thus largely the result of a bottom-up procedure that starts with the examination of locally produced utterances that are part of a discourse . um you know what I mean. the IRA. er. . meaning (such as “journey”). . .you— . . . yeah. . . . . . The verb see is used three times in this set of utterances. Following is a piece of their conversation (from Cameron. p. It is used in the sense of “understand. . 2007. they are said to belong to a systematic metaphor. p. If they share a general literal. I saw it as both. . . hmh . . . . political picture. The use of the phrase the big political picture is an instance of explication through elaboration. and all of them are metaphorical. 205). . how . p. or. did you see it as like individuals. The underlined words indicate linguistic metaphors. the big . 204): Extract 4 1: 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 pat jo pat jo . it’s going to be an individual who you’d be sitting down with. or did you see it as a sort of a . . . The following examples provide a sense of a systematic metaphor (from Cameron. 207): Extract 7 1: 35 pat 36 37 1: 1912 2: 306 I was aware from speaking to certain people. The metaphorical expressions that one finds in particular utterances can be grouped into “systematic metaphors” on the basis of their nonmetaphorical meanings. the war. 2007. .

because speakers construct coherence across metaphor topics to arrive at a meaning of the phrase as “be forced to acknowledge the human consequences. In line 892. Cameron (2007) found four such systematic metaphors in the reconciliation talk between Berry and Magee: RECONCILIATION IS A JOURNEY. Moreover. (Cameron uses italics to distinguish systematic metaphors from conceptual metaphors. First. though they come from different systematic metaphors (journey and seeing). where Jo Berry and Pat Magee are sitting across from each other. And. meaning “directly. and they frame the most important issues that the participants talk about. They may also dominate a particular stage in the development of the discourse. which is that the face stands for the entire person. In addition. UNDERSTANDING THE OTHER REQUIRES CONNECTION. 2007. participants may adopt and modify each other’s metaphors in the process (as in the case of Berry partially adopting Magee’s metaphor THE STRUGGLE for the activities of the IRA).” What. The significant systematic metaphors emerge over the entire timescale of the talk. their interpretation is flexible in many cases between metaphor. Consider an utterance from Extract 9 (Cameron. importantly for reconciliation talk. although systematic metaphors mix freely in face-to-face conversation. is the relationship between the theory of conceptual metaphors and the discourse dynamic view of metaphor? In general. participants in the discourse find the use of come and face-to-face next to each other meaningful and coherent. they seem to be able to make sense of the expressions come face-to-face and price. p. according to Cameron. and price that of value. Systematic metaphors have several important characteristics. Second. In the sentence above (line 892). The expression face-to-face can be interpreted metaphorically.” but it also has a metonymic element built into it. even within the same sentence. This is possible. metonymy. they can combine freely. Fourth. and RECONCILIATION AS CHANGING A DISTORTED IMAGE OF THE OTHER. Third.) These metaphors emerge from the microgenetic level (the moment of talk) onto the discourse-event level and participants can return to them in the discourse. RECONCILIATION HAPPENS THROUGH LISTENING TO THE OTHER’S STORY. where the latter derives from the VALUE systematic metaphor. come is an example of the journey metaphor. then. they seem to be used in a systematic relationship to each other. it can function literally it the context above. they are easily interpreted.METAPHOR IN DISCOURSE 301 event or conversation (that can form a part of a series of connected conversations). face is an example of the systematic metaphor of seeing. it seems to me that the emergent connected linguistic metaphors that Cameron and her colleagues call “systematic metaphors” occupy a position in the bottom-up . Cameron suggests. and literal understanding. 209): 892 pat you’re going to come face-to-face with that price.

and the second from the immediate cultural context. we can suggest that many of the metaphorical blends are invented as a result of the influence of what I call the “immediate cultural context. 4. and an appropriate literal predication for the Coca Cola corporation’s best known product. such as goes. it seems to me that CIT needs CMT because. In general. CMT and CIT are complementary (Grady et al. D. it would appear to have some of the properties of the soft drink that corporation produces. exceeds. I would add that the metaphorical verb flows is used here.302 METAPHOR (or top-down) hierarchy between linguistic metaphors in context and the conceptual metaphors of the standard view of cognitive linguistics. It may well be that the discourse-specific systematic metaphors lead to the establishment of conceptual metaphors as a result of similar recurrent discourse events. the speaker of the sentence uses the Titanic scenario. where two movies are used to establish the “true” identity of the actor. 2005). Conceptual Metaphor Theory and Conceptual Integration Theory What is the relationship between conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) and conceptual integration theory (CIT)? According to some. I suspect that in other cases the other factors can play a similar role. as opposed to several other alternatives. . While I agree with much of this analysis.” I show this in the case of the Schwarzenegger example. but. then. Thus in our terms.C. They describe the example as follows: In (3) [the example in question] . while the “Coke” in (3) is mainly construed as a corporation. area at the time. and not some other potentially available scenario? The Clinton-Titanic blend came about because the Titanic movie was very much in public awareness when the blend was created (it was one of the most popular movies in the Washington. let us take one of the most celebrated examples of CIT: “If Clinton were the Titanic. according to others. as Cameron and her colleagues suggest. the iceberg would sink.” Why is it that in order to talk about the Clinton scandal. . The two cases of blending that are considered here seem to partially result from the effect of context on the use of metaphors and blends: the first from the effect of the immediate linguistic context. as Fauconnier and Turner [2002] themselves note). and surpasses. 1999). As a second illustration of a contextual effect on an integrations network. because both the immediate linguistic context and the more general topic influences the choice of the verb. they are contradictory (Brandt and Brandt.. “flows past forecasts” is an appropriate metaphoric predication for the Coca Cola corporation’s profit. Seana Coulson and Todd Oakley (2003) examine a headline: “Coke Flows Past Forecasts: Soft Drink Company Posts Gains” from USA Today. So. .

Deignan (1999. and ideologies are often supported by conceptual metaphors.htm). The metaphors that researchers identify in this type of discourse are called “systematic metaphors. SUMMARY First. This means that the same conceptual metaphor or metaphorical analogy can make a single discourse (intratextual) or a number of different discourses (intertextual) coherent. among others. context plays a crucial role in understanding why we use certain metaphors as we produce discourse. The ones identified in this chapter include the immediate linguistic context. Cameron and Deignan (2006). The notion of the “pressure of coherence” is first discussed in Kövecses (2005). the immediate cultural context. Face-to-face conversations have been intensively studied from a metaphor perspective by.” Such systematic metaphors may represent a level between metaphorical linguistic expressions and fully-fledged conceptual metaphors. the social context. Dobrovolskij and Piirainen (2005). and the physical setting. The metaphoric process works in less explicit but in equally systematic ways. Chilton and Ilyin (1993). 2004. FURTHER READING A number of authors have noticed the use of conceptual metaphors as a coherence-giving device. Two basic types of coherence are identified: intratextual and intertextual coherence. Musolff (2000. the knowledge conceptualizers have about themselves and the topic. Name the contextual factors that might have motivated the metaphor and its mappings in discourse. . Semino (2008). and Gibbs and Cameron (2008). Zinken (2007). Chilton and Lakoff (1995). Find an article or a talk delivered by a public figure at the EU’s home page (http://europa. Koller (2004/2008). This aspect of discourse is explored by Goatly (2007). Such metaphors have so far not been recognized by researchers working in conceptual metaphor theory. Eubanks (2000). Cameron (2003. Charteris-Black (2004). Conceptualizers seem to rely on a number of contextual factors when they use metaphors in discourse. it could often not account for why it operates with the frames and mental spaces that it does in conceptual integration networks. EXERCISES 1.eu/index_en. 2008). Second. where you can easily identify an overarching conceptual metaphor. 2005). in face-to-face conversations we find less robust evidence of conceptual metaphors used as coherence devices. metaphors can ensure the coherence of many types of discourse. 2006). They include Cameron (2003). in contrast to much of written discourse. 2007.METAPHOR IN DISCOURSE 303 without it. Chilton (1996). Third. Longer discourses are often based on ideologies.

http://www. Song titles usually include metaphorical expressions and hide metaphorical meaning. elections in 2008. http://www.com/Blondie%20 Lyrics/The%20Tide%20Is%20High%20Lyrics. Congratulations and go enjoy yourself.S. and name the conceptual metaphors that come to your mind—prompted just by the title itself: Blondie’s The Tide Is High (e. whom you know rather well. Do you see metaphorical analogies that contribute to intratextual coherence? (c) Can you name other songs of the same singer or band (or other pieces of discourse important in the given culture). (b) Which elements of the target could be used creatively in an ensuing discourse? (c) Based on what you learned about target-induced metaphorical creativity.304 METAPHOR 2..g. justice.rhapsody.). 4. Initiate conversations with your family or friends. embarrassing situations. Bush.g. (d) Could this metaphor be turned against the user in a debate over contentious issues? If you think so. and see if they reveal the metaphors you named... etc. exploiting this conceptual metaphor.com/the-jam/ the-sound-of-the-jam/going-underground/lyrics. emotions. and motivate them to talk about topics or situations where you yourself would apply metaphorical expressions (such as life in general. create a conversation between Obama and Bush.songfacts. When Barack Obama won the U. President George Bush called him and congratulated him. saying: “You are about to go on one of the great journeys of life.com/ lyrics. This chapter introduces the idea that context-induced creativity is often prompted by the background and life experience of discourse participants. 3. where intertextual coherence is achieved with the help of these? . Identify any emerging conceptual metaphors.” (a) Identify the conceptual metaphor used by Mr. relationships. or write a journal entry for one. http://www.html) (b) Look up the lyrics on the Internet. (a) Choose one of the following three. php?findsong=328) The Jam’s Going Underground (e.lyrics007. and note cases where they provide coherence to discourse.g. write an example.html) Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven (e.

but it may serve us well in illustrating its main characteristics. the supraindividual level is one at which linguists identify conceptual metaphors mainly on the basis of decontextualized linguistic examples. for example. What “supraindividual” simply means is that there is a level of metaphor that is based on the 305 . as studied. surrounded by nature and man-made objects). This is no doubt an oversimplified picture of the three levels and their interaction. or aspects. and the subindividual level at the bottom (representing people having all kinds of preconceptual experiences throughout the duration of their lives). (2) the individual level. the subindividual level is one at which we find universal sensorimotor experiences that underlie and motivate conceptual metaphors. the individual level in the middle (with people communicating with each other.19 How Does All This Hang Together? iven all the various strands of research on metaphor that is surveyed in this book. of metaphor. it seems reasonable to distinguish three levels of metaphor: (1) the “supraindividual” level. Figure 19. by psycholinguists in various experimental situations. Most of the research in cognitive linguistics takes place on and is directed at one or several of these levels. In a nutshell. In this brief final chapter. whose coherence seems to derive from the three interrelated levels. The individual level is one at which metaphors exist in the heads of individual speakers.1 is a simple drawing that is intended to show the three levels: the supraindividual level at the top (in the form of a cloud-like formation). Each conceptual metaphor can be analyzed on these levels. Finally. G 1. I try to bring together the many threads of research in cognitive linguistics on metaphor into a coherent picture. The Supraindividual Level Let us begin with the supraindividual level. and (3) the “subindividual” level.

1. 2000 (property of the artist).306 METAPHOR Figure 19. Katalin Jobbágy. Three Levels of Metaphor. .

or their own “mental lexcion” as native speakers of a language. politics. The conceptual metaphors that we find in a language constitute large systems.” Source domains come with. items outside the main meaning focus do not get mapped onto the target.” “make one’s blood boil. a great deal of knowledge that metaphor researchers often explore. We concluded from these data that there exists a conceptual metaphor that we put as anger is a hot fluid in a container. These are realworld enactments of metaphors identified initially in language. random other sources such as books.” and the Event Structure metaphor that characterizes “relations. the domains give rise to metaphorical entailments. But many of the same metaphors that are identified on the basis of language are found in all kinds of cultural institutions (as these are broadly conceived). such as art. and they provide a certain structure for the abstract domains to which the source domain applies. Second is the view that what gets mapped depends on the primary metaphors that make up a complex one. and other news reports in the media. The conceptual metaphors form larger systems. only those entailments participate in this job that meet certain specific requirements. this gives an important cultural dimension to the supraindividual level.” “be pissed off. Three such requirements are outlined in the book (but there are more). this is what Lakoff and Kövecses (1987) did in their study of anger-related metaphors in (American) English. First is the requirement that only those conceptual materials are mapped from the source that are consistent with the image-schematic structure of the target.HOW DOES ALL THIS HANG TOGETHER? 307 conventionalized metaphors of a given language (such as English. We collected such examples as “boil with anger. Hungarian.” and many others. Metaphors can be said to pervade and structure . in addition to the basic.” “seethe with anger. However. Researchers typically collect conventionalized metaphorical expressions from dictionaries. magazines. There is a set of mappings that characterizes a source and the targets that belong to its scope. in addition to the linguistic dimension. or imply. Each of these function independently in accounting for the question of what gets mapped from source to target. and so forth. This is the level at which most of the cognitive linguistic research is taking place. Thus. Zulu. For example. sports. Source domains have a wide or narrow scope. The mappings are conventionally fixed. These entailments also structure target domains. In other words. This is the invariance principle. constituent elements that comprise source domains. Chinese. from dictionaries and other sources. or primary. thesauri. metaphors. Wolof.). and it is this that determines what gets mapped from the source. etc. They then analyze these collections of conventionalized metaphorical expressions by grouping them into conceptual metaphors that have a concrete source and an abstract target domain. A third possible requirement suggests that each source is associated with a main meaning focus (or foci). science. newspapers. Some of the mappings constitute simple. Two large metaphor systems have been identified: the Great Chain metaphor that characterizes “things. the primary metaphors determine entailments.

he convincingly showed that conceptual metaphors actually exist in the heads of individual speakers. The individual level is the level at which individual speakers of a given language use the metaphors that are available to them at the supraindividual level in actual communicative situations. He asked subjects to form mental images of such anger-related idioms as blow one’s stack. When people engage in online thinking in the course of communication. People’s images were highly uniform and consistent about what they imagined: a container with heated fluid inside that explodes as a result of too much pressure inside the container. But the question arises: Does this. That is. This is what we call “withinculture” variation in metaphor in this book. or at least alluded to. However. This phenomenon incorporates blending properties of the source with properties of the . The incompleteness of the fit can come from a variety of factors. they commonly create blends—in both language and thought. and hit the ceiling. flip one’s lid. how the context of communication constrains the use of metaphors. There are several other ways in which metaphor plays a role in communication between actual speakers of a language in real-world situations. identified at the supraindividual level are available to all speakers of a language. The entire range of metaphors at the supraindividual level is not used by every single speaker of a language. how people think online using metaphors. or could be. and how metaphors can organize or otherwise structure actual texts or discourses. the conceptual system of people? 2. Why was this so? This is only possible if people’s images are constrained by something in their conceptual system: something that can only be the conceptual metaphor anger is a hot fluid in a container. The Individual Level The metaphors found on the supraindividual are mainly based on the analysis of linguistic expressions. Both individuals and social groups vary in the kinds of metaphors they use. and these issues are briefly mentioned. and they also often invent new conceptual metaphors. but this level is also where they create new metaphors. or can this.308 METAPHOR many aspects of language and culture. what Gibbs showed was that the metaphors discovered by cognitive linguists actually exist in the heads of speakers. Do they also pervade and structure the thought. In a variety of mental imagery tasks. in the references in various chapters of this book. Not all the metaphors that have been. This level is characterized by such issues as the selection of metaphors for particular communicative purposes. the same research also shows that the match between the supraindividual and the individual levels is not perfect or complete. analysis reveal anything about metaphors in the heads of individual speakers? In particular: Do people actually have the metaphors in their conceptual system that cognitive linguists discover on the basis of their linguistic analyses? The breakthrough in answering these questions came with Ray Gibbs’s (1990) psycholinguistic work on metaphor.

depending on one’s communicative needs. Take the sentence “God. an element of the source is blended with an element of the target. Individuals may also differ in whether or not they make use of all the mappings of a metaphor that are associated with it supraindividually when they use a particular metaphor in particular communicative situations. and category-based correlations in experience can also do so.” In this novel elaboration of the metaphor. The example comes from the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor considered in chapter 17. only a selection of conventional mappings is utilized in actual speech situations. A nice example of a metaphorical blend is provided by Turner and Fauconnier (2000). Thus. this can happen (and it can even happen in poetic texts). people often use blends online or in real time in the course of working conceptually with input domains of any kind. The kinds of concerns speakers have.HOW DOES ALL THIS HANG TOGETHER? 309 target. The use of metaphors also depends on the context of communication as broadly conceived. 3. this is part of a broader phenomenon than metaphor. he was so mad I could see the smoke or steam coming out of his ears. it is not the case that all the mappings arrived at by cognitive linguists at the supraindividual level are activated by individual speakers in the course of online thinking and communication in the real world. A frame is created with smoke and ears in it that is novel with respect to both the source and the target. and even the physical context (such as the particular season in which they communicate) can significantly contribute to arriving at the metaphors they use. We do not need metaphorical source and target domains to get blends. But has anyone ever come up with any real evidence independent of linguistic claims about such correlations? The answer . this is a level that corresponds to the universal aspects of metaphor. and all mappings may occasionally be utilized. Bodily experiences are often correlated with certain abstract or subjective experiences which give rise to conceptual metaphors that we find natural and well motivated. but more often than not. It is not only direct bodily experience that can produce wellmotivated metaphors. The Subindividual Level What I call the “subindividual” level of metpahor is the level at which the conceptualization of a conceptual domain (the target) by means of another conceptual domain (the source) is made natural and motivated for speakers. However. As a limiting case. perceptual. and human beings (no matter which language they speak) share these experiences. Since the bringing together of the two domains into a conceptual metaphor is often motivated by sensorimotor experiences. their life histories. but in the blend both are present at the same time as smoke or steam coming out of his ears. The most obvious cases in which two different kinds of experience are seen as being in correlation are those that involve the human physiology. There are no ears in the source and there is no smoke in the target. cultural.

Because of these possibilities. one domain correlates with.e. Which of these distinct kinds of metaphors are based on correlations in experience? The kind of metaphor that is most studied by cognitive linguists is structural metaphor. objective. This is not to claim. their nature (knowledge-based or image-based).. In it. anger has been shown to be correlated with an increase in skin temperature. Ekman et al. Many are not. . metonymy is a bridge between experiencing two domains simultaneously. (1983) conducted several experiments which show that abstract domains such as emotions regularly correlate with physiological changes in the body. it can be suggested that simple. For example. The notion of correlation brings with it an important implication in the study of the relationship between metaphor and metonymy. another domain. that each and every conceptual metaphor is based on such correlations in experience. If we characterize metaphor as involving two distant domains and metonymy as involving a single domain. metaphors can be classified according to their cognitive function (structural.” or even real. metaphors are the ones that most obviously have a clear experiential basis. etc. These studies provide independent (i. ontological. nonlinguistic) motivation for the existence of the anger is a hot fluid metaphor that is discussed above as a test case for the three-level view of metaphor. There are several distinct kinds of metaphor. many other metaphors could be characterized at each of the supraindividual. and so forth. and other autonomic nervous system (ANS) activities. the subindividual level of metaphor is only partially universal—to the degree to which motivation is based on correlations in experience. individual. Similar to this one. however. blood pressure. and these may obtain their motivation from what we call “perceived structural similarity. on the other. and subindividual levels. and seeing them as metaphorically related (A-as-B). People in different cultures may take the same thing to be similar to different things. Instead.). their complexity (simple or complex). The issue of how many conceptual metaphors can be accounted for by correlations in experience (as opposed to similarity of some kind) is one that requires a great deal more future research. Correlation in experience brings together two (no matter how) distant domains of experience in a single one.310 METAPHOR is yes. their conventionality (conventional or unconventional). which are characterized by a different ANS profile. These simple metaphors function as mappings within larger. Thus in this view. The implication is that correlation-based metaphors can all be seen as having a metonymic basis. and preexisting similarity. then we should regard correlation as a metonymic relationship. and different cultures can have unique concepts that may function as either source or target domains. complex structural ones. The two types of motivation (correlations in experience and resemblance or similarity) should be seen as complementary rather than mutually exclusive. thus metonymically stands for. or primary. but these are not all necessarily based on correlations in experience. on the one hand. These changes make anger different from other emotions.

Thus. I discuss four of these briefly. Ultimately. or are there conceptual metaphors that are limited to any one of them? And as regards the multimodality of many metaphors. and we repeatedly experience in the world situations in which source and target domains are connected. verbal. at least in my view. is in the brain. other. they may set the direction of metaphor research in the years to come. Then? We now know incomparably more about the locus of metaphor than ever before. Rather. it is in the brain’s neurons where metaphors reside and where we produce metaphorical thought. sonic. metaphorically connected domains are also activated. and especially for simple. modes for the presentation of target and source. the latest one being the brain. and it is not only in language and thought. are crucially important. Metaphor is a widely distributed phenomenon that encompasses all our cultural reality—including material culture and physical events. metaphors. As well. But metaphor can also be found in the body. it is a sequence of the discoveries (and the consequent exploration) of the realms where metaphor resides. The brain runs the body. Metaphorical embodiment is especially important when it provides motivation for the emergence of particular conceptual metaphors.1. Some Recent Issues in the Study of Metaphor There are a number of issues in the contemporary study of metaphor that. and so on. Metaphor is not only in language. not a temporal sequence of loci where metaphor unfolds. we have three ways in which simple. This is. or primary. if one domain is activated. do the same conceptual metaphors occur in the pictorial. either. The first is the range of the distribution of conceptual metaphors across these realms.HOW DOES ALL THIS HANG TOGETHER? 311 Where do metaphors “reside” in the human organism? The most natural location for metaphors. metaphors have further bodily motivation. Does each and every conceptual metaphor occur in all of these. the study of metaphor in the past nearly three decades identified metaphor in: Language–Thought–Culture–Body–Brain. and what the body experiences is registered by the brain. or primary. 4. or are there metaphors that are specific to any one of them? . of course. musical. So Where Is Metaphor. Given a source and a target domain. Making sense of our world cannot take place without metaphor. the source domains arise from the sensorimotor experiences of the human body. This shows that metaphors not only have linguistic and psychological reality but also are real in our neuroanatomy. metaphors are embodied: the correlations are embodied in our neuroanatomy. Several serious questions arise in connection with this area of research. 4. As Lakoff and Johnson (1999) observe.

In general. and physical contexts.” we can only make . How Is “Standard” Metaphor Theory Supplemented by Blending Theory? One of the most interesting recent research issues involves when “standard” conceptual metaphor theory becomes insufficient to handle cases of metaphorical conceptualization.” Again. many metaphors we produce are not simply conventionally fixed mappings in the conceptual system but arise as a result of these contextual factors.3. On what basis do we decide whether we use body-based or context-based metaphors in a given situation? And when or under what circumstances is it possible to comply with both pressures? A second issue is the following: If there are instances of metaphor that are not based on preestablished conventional mappings. We try to be coherent. several important research questions arise. in Turner’s example of King John telling the messenger “Poor down thy weather. social. in this process of metaphor selection. Thus. cultural.312 METAPHOR 4.” Body-based metaphors and context-induced metaphors create a certain tension in the selection of metaphors in discourse. It has been increasingly recognized by scholars belonging to very different research paradigms that our “metaphorical competence” extends beyond the use of fixed sets of mappings between a concrete source and an abstract target. for instance. Such contextual factors include the immediate and nonimmediate linguistic. given the research findings so far. with both our bodies and the (global and local) contexts in which we function as metaphorical conceptualizers. How Does Metaphor Interact with Context? A further issue in the study of metaphor is the nature and extent of the influence of context on the selection of metaphors. do we understand context-induced metaphors by looking for potential conventionally established conceptual pathways that take us from the context-based metaphor to the intended figurative meaning? Third. it has been found that written discourse displays a great deal more metaphorical character than face-to-face conversation. In short. it can be suggested that this happens when there is some incompatibility between an otherwise compatible source and target domains (functioning as input spaces).2. why is it the case? 4. Research on face-to-face conversation and written discourse indicates that various contextual factors play a role in our choice of metaphors. The compatibility of the source and target domains is determined by the appropriateness or validity of the mappings that otherwise apply. We can call these instances of metaphor “context-induced metaphors. The term I have used for this phenomenon is “the pressure of coherence. One is the issue of how we go about resolving the tension created by the pressure of coherence. Is this indeed the case? If yes. how do we understand these metaphors? Is it possible to suggest that the understanding of these metaphors nonetheless happens by virtue of the preestablished metaphoric and metonymic mappings in the mind or brain? That is.

This generic space happens to be the source domain of a well-known metaphor in the Bible: the heavenly kingdom is a worldly kingdom. the neural theory of metaphor. we have a blend in which in the “heavenly kingdom” Jesus/king rules by love over all people. In this view. and conceptual metaphor theory as based on the idea of main meaning focus. The worldly kingdom corresponds to the heavenly kingdom.4. blending theory. The particular approaches considered here include the theory of metaphor as categorization. or correspondences. “standard” conceptual metaphor theory. There are a number of mappings. whereas Jesus rules by love. an incompatibility arises in the fourth mapping: although both the king and Jesus rule in their respective realms.2. Let us see another example. between the concept of (worldly) kingdom and jesus’ realm: the worldly kingdom the king the subjects the king rules (by authority) over his subjects ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ the heavenly kingdom Jesus all people Jesus rules (by love) over all people The compatibility of the source with the target is ensured by the appropriatness of these mappings.HOW DOES ALL THIS HANG TOGETHER? 313 sense of the king’s command to the messenger if we create a blended space in which the king can command nature—not only the messenger. the king rules by authority. Despite the several systematic mappings. and the role of subjects is filled out by all people. the king’s status as a human being and his command to nature are incompatible. metaphor is a class-inclusion statement (Glucksberg and Keysar. an entity is assigned to a category that is exemplified by or typical of another entity also belonging to that category. 1993). 4.4. The Categorization View of Metaphor In the categorization view of metaphor.1. we get a picture of the different approaches to metaphor and can find out how the approaches are related to each other. and the incompatibility can only be resolved in the blend. To say that “this surgeon is a butcher” means that . By looking at their various specific analyses that were proposed. Thus. What Is the Relationship between Various Theories? The Case of “This Surgeon Is a Butcher” The sentence “This surgeon is a butcher” has often been discussed in the literature on conceptual metaphor theory and outside it by theorists of different persuasion. the role of king in the source is filled out by Jesus in the target. by means of selective projection. This can be represented in figure 19. it is proposed that the concept of kingdom is best characterized as a generic space. In the chapter on blending (chapter 17). 4. However.

The heavenly kingdom blend. The property that I attribute to him or her is an attributive category. atrocious worker. I attribute a certain metaphoric property to a particular surgeon.2.” Let us say.” What I assert when I use this sentence is . what is the attributive category that is exemplified by or typical of butchers? Sam Glucksberg and Boaz Keysar suggest that butchers exemplify a “bungling. So what is this property that I attribute to this surgeon by making use of the word butcher? In other words.314 METAPHOR Input 1 Input 2 Input n kingdom1 King1 Rule by authority1 Subjects1 kingdom2 King2 Rule by authority2 Subjects2 kingdomn Kingn Rule by authorityn Subjectsn Generic space = Source Worldly Kingdom Target Heavenly Kingdom Worldly kingdom King Rule by authority Subjects Heavenly kingdom Jesus Rule by love All people Worldly/Heavenly Kingdom King/Jesus Rule by love Subjects/All people Blend Figure 19. that this is the attributive category of “incompetence. more generally.

4. that the surgeon is sloppy or careless). it is the last correspondence that is crucial. such an account lends itself in a straightforward manner. I suggest (together with Lakoff. blending theorists advocate a new way of analyzing the meaning of the metaphorical sentence along the lines of conceptual integration theory discussed in chapter 17. The crucial issue about this mapping is whether or not butchers are indeed inherently sloppy or careless (or in other views. I can produce this meaning by assigning this surgeon to the attributive category of “incompetence” by means of the entity butcher that exemplifies or is typical of incompetence. the correspondence maps the butcher’s sloppiness or carelessness onto the surgeon. moreover. Blending Blending theorists explicitly reject the suggestion that butchers are inherently incompetent (Grady et al.4. For these reasons. We can set up a set of correspondences between the two: the butcher the tool used: the cleaver the animal (carcass) the commodity the abattoir the goal of severing meat the means of butchery the sloppiness.. To get the intended meaning of the sentence (i. While all the listed entities in the butcher’s domain have counterparts in the surgeon domain. “Standard” Conceptual Metaphor Theory Although no explicit account of this metaphor has been given in what we can take to be “standard” conceptual metaphor theory. that even if it is an inherent characteristic of butchers. They claim. carelessness of the butcher ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ ⇒ the surgeon the tool used: the scalpel the human being the patient the operating room the goal of healing the means of surgery the sloppiness. 2005)..e. In it. According to the categorization view noted above. 1999).HOW DOES ALL THIS HANG TOGETHER? 315 that the surgeon is incompetent. 2008a) that it is more appropriate to reformulate the property of butchers in the sentence as sloppy or careless (rather than incompetent). And the same would apply to sloppiness or carelessness. 4. incompetent). butchers are typical of the attributive category of incompetence. in addition to the two input spaces of butchery and surgery that are connected by a set of mappings as above (except the last corre- . 4. we need to be able to explain how butchers acquire the meaning of being regarded as incompetent (Brandt and Brandt.3. carelessness of the surgeon As the last mapping shows.2. In this view. they are. This would yield the conceptual metaphor: surgery is butchery. there would be a source domain evoked by the word butcher and a target domain evoked by the word surgeon.

GENERIC SPACE A person Employing a sharp tool to a body for a purpose SOURCE DOMAIN: BUTCHERY The butcher The tool used: the cleaver The animal (carcass) The commodity The abattoir The goal of severing meat The means of butchery TARGET DOMAIN: SURGERY The surgeon The tool used: the scalpel The human being The patient The operating room The goal of healing The means of surgery The butcher/ The surgeon The tool used: the scalpel The human being The patient The operating room The goal of healing The means of butchery Incompetence BLEND Figure 19. some tool. We can represent the blending account of the sentence in figure 19. nonprofessional. Thus. incompetent. the surgeon who uses the means of butchery cannot do a good job in trying to heal a human patient. The blend set up this way leads to the interpretation of the surgeon as being ineffective. in the blend there is a surgeon in the role of a butcher who uses a tool and the means of butchery for the purpose of healing a patient. of course. There is also a blended space. and the goal of healing.3. ultimately. the patient. The surgeon as butcher blend. the operating room. But.316 METAPHOR spondence). .3. and. we have a generic space in which there is a person who employs a sharp tool to a body for a purpose. This space inherits from the source input the butcher and the means of butchery and from the target input the surgeon.

we could eliminate the problem associated with “standard” conceptual metaphor theory: the problem that. my surgeon. based on a stereotype.” a particular surgeon (this surgeon.4. etc. For this reason. Lakoff ’s Extended Theory Based on his neural theory of metaphor. for example. Take.) who operated on a patient in a sloppy or careless way is a member of the category of butchers. he is viewed as being sloppy or careless. Lakoff (2008a) accounts for examples like “This surgeon is a butcher” by using the following abstract metaphor: a person who performs actions with certain characteristics is a member of a profession known for those characteristics. butchers are seen as sloppy or careless (or incompetent. the source domain of butcher has the characteristic of sloppiness or carelessness (or incompetence). This is. Thus. Conceptual Metaphor Theory as Based on the Idea of the Main Meaning Focus One version of conceptual metaphor theory is the one propounded in chapter 10 that uses the idea of the “main meaning focus.4. In the blend. on that analysis. the senses of the word as defined by the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: 1 a: a person who slaughters animals or dresses their flesh b: a dealer in meat 2: one that kills ruthlessly or brutally 3: one that bungles or botches 4: a vendor especially on trains or in theaters Sense 3 clearly indicates that butchers are regarded as inherently sloppy.” On this view. the role of the butcher in the butcher frame is filled with a particular surgeon and. For . careless. we can understand why the metaphorical statement means what it does. as a result. 4.5. Given this conventionalized sense of the word and given that source domains map their main meaning focus (whose selection from several potential foci may depend on the context) on the target.4. there is no account of why the feature sloppiness or carelessness (or incompetence) is mapped onto the surgeon. On this analysis. in statements like “This surgeon is a butcher. or incompetent. Thus. The view based on the main meaning focus of the source domain would maintain that the feature is mapped because it is one of the main meaning foci associated with butchers. as Lakoff observes. in other theories). Other possible meaning foci can also be found in the conventionalized lexical meanings of the word butcher.HOW DOES ALL THIS HANG TOGETHER? 317 4. who cut meat with force rather than care and precision. we would have a metaphorical blend.

Cognitively speaking. In this way.” The surgeon in the blend assumes the main meaning focus of the butcher. pig. we conceptualize how the butcher works with the surgery frame in the background. the blended space. the word butcher is used in the sentence to metonymically indicate sloppiness.318 METAPHOR other people. “incompetent. where the “careless. though. however. We can think of the projection of “careless and sloppy” to the frame (target domain) of surgery as an example of cross-domain mapping. the reason is that the actions performed by the butcher appear that way in contrast to the surgeon. It can be suggested that the projection goes to a new space. the blend contains what the surgery frame contains. We can diagram this as in figure 19. But why do we see the movements of the butcher as “careless. all of which display different meaning foci by means of the same metonymy. sloppy. “being incompetent.3 above. and bull. imprecise”) since this is the one that most scholars assume. In the discussion below. This issue was already mentioned above in connection with blending theory. hence. This kind of metonymy-based metaphor appears to be widespread. hence. there is a metonymic relationship between the category as a whole and the property as a part. imprecise”? In all probability. we extend the primary meaning of the word butcher (“who slaughters animals and dresses their flesh”) to “careless and sloppy.4. however. In other words. What seems to happen is that we compare the butcher’s actions with the “precise” and “refined” actions of the surgeon (cf. This blend and this solution will. In it.” and. the phrase “with surgical precision”). In the view of metaphor as based on the notion of main meaning focus. That is. But we can also think of it as a case of conceptual integration. or frame.e. We can account for why we use certain concepts for certain properties in a large number of cases. By this means. of category-and-its-property (see chapter 12). in terms of the butchery frame). independently of everything else (i. however. and so on. I analyze the other interpretation (“careless. Such people may take the sentence to mean a surgeon who has (mostly accidentally) killed one or several patients as a result of an unsuccessful operation. sloppy work” of the butcher replaces the “precise and refined work” of the surgeon. we interpret the butcher’s actions in reference to the surgeon’s work. but in relation to and in light of the surgery frame. it is sense 2 that carries the main meaning focus. This means that we interpret the butcher’s actions not in itself. the metonymy can be given as category for its property that is based on the idealized cognitive model. or frame. be different from the solution by means of the blend noted in section 4. the essential elements of the blend were the means of butchery and the goal of surgery. as . These include concepts such as surgeon. In addition. sloppy.4. with the major difference that the particular surgeon will here be regarded as doing “careless and sloppy work” and.” This newly derived meaning will then be projected to and characterize the particular surgeon as well. we need to be able to explain by means of which cognitive mechanism this meaning arises.. In such cases.

GENERIC SPACE A person Employing a sharp tool to a body for a purpose INPUT 1 – SOURCE DOMAIN: BUTCHERY INPUT 2 – TARGET DOMAIN: SURGERY The butcher The tool used: the cleaver The animal (carcass) The commodity The abattoir The goal of severing meat The means of butchery The surgeon The tool used: the scalpe1 The human being The patient The operating room The goal of healing The means of surgery Precise work The butcher The tool used: the cleaver The animal (carcass) The commodity The abattoir The goal of severing meat The means of butchery Careless.4. sloppy work The butcher/ The surgeon The tool used: the scalpe1 The human being The patient The operating room The goal of healing The means of surgery Careless. sloppy work NEW SOURCE DOMAIN: BUTCHERY BLEND Figure 19. The new surgeon as butcher blend in the “main meaning focus” view. .

First. there exist two independent conceptual categories: butchery and surgery. How Do These Analyses Fit Together? The particular cognitive mechanisms that are required to understand the meaning construction of the sentence “This surgeon is a butcher” include the following: surgery is butchery metaphor a person who performs actions with certain characteristics is a member of a profession known for those characteristics metaphor(ic blend) the whole category for a characteristic property of the category metonymy The generic space of surgery and butchery surgery as conceptual background (to interpreting butchery) Surgery as a conceptual background to understanding butchery and the generic space for surgery and butchery jointly explain why the concept of butchery acquires the meaning focus of “careless. the property of “incompetence” gets into the blend from the input space of butchery. Third.6. .4. as a result of which a role in one is filled by a role in another (now functioning as a value for that role). and the entity that fills the role assumes the property typically associated with that role.” But in the present suggestion. we can summarize the emergence of the meaning of the sentence in this view as resulting from a four-stage process. We need all of these cognitive mechanisms in order to be able to account for how the meaning of the sentence “This surgeon is a butcher” emerges. Second. in which the property will now characterize the surgeon. All in all. this property is projected into the blend. a metaphorical relationship is established between them.320 METAPHOR well as the conflict between the two. 4. the property of “incompetence” emerges in the concept of butchery in light of and against the background of the concept of surgery.” and how this gets to be applied to the surgeon. the metaphor a person who performs actions with certain characteristics is a member of a profession known for those characteristics brings about a metaphorical blend in which a semantic role in a conceptual frame is filled by an entity. leading to the property of “incompetence. sloppy work. due to the similarity between the two. the metonymy the whole category for a characteristic property of the category provides the motivation for the metaphor a person who performs actions with certain characteristics is a member of a profession known for those characteristics.” hence “incompetence. and the surgery is butchery metaphor allows the establishment of the correspondences between the two frames. Fourth.

as the many questions above indicate. But what is certain. This is what characterizes source domains and what is carried over to the target domain (in the standard CMT view) or the blend (in the CIT view) by means of the cognitive mechanisms noted above. The creative cognitive activity of individual speakers by using blends in relation to the anger is a hot fluid metaphor is described by Turner and Fauconnier (2000). and the subindividual level corresponding to universal aspects of various kinds of embodiment. and it is not claimed. that we know precisely how the three levels work together. and brain all come together and play an equally crucial role in our metaphorical competence and. either. The idea of main meaning focus is compatible with both. and described at the present time. and culture. and Gibbs (1994) is the best source for a survey of psychological research on metaphor in the head of actual speakers. it is not claimed that the three levels are all equally well understood. as I hope this book demonstrates. is that the cognitive view as presented here has produced significant results. In this sense. However. The idea that correlation in experience serves as a basis for many metaphors is elaborated . However. Which one is the best theory. researched. mind. FURTHER READING Lakoff and Johnson in their latest joint work (1999) put the issue of metaphor (together with many other things) in a philosophical perspective. cognition. then. All the theories and approaches considered here contribute to an account of the meaning of metaphorical sentences such as “This surgeon is a butcher. to account for the meaning of the sentence? In light of the preceding discussion. perhaps the most important of which is the realization that language. the cognitive linguistic view of metaphor as discussed in this book works on three levels: the supraindividual level corresponding to how a given language and culture reflects decontextualized metaphorical patterns. As a matter of fact. body. culture. what we have learned in the past ten years has just given us more to do in the future. it is also compatible with the view of metaphor as an attributive category. SUMMARY In conclusion. though this latter view does not have the conceptual tools as considered above. then. in the study of metaphor. the different theories fit together and complement each other in a natural way. the individual level corresponding to the metaphorical cognitive system as used by individual speakers of a language.” No single theory explains everything about the process of meaning construction required for the sentence. Gibbs (1999) discusses the relationship between metaphor.HOW DOES ALL THIS HANG TOGETHER? 321 The main driving force in the construction of the sentence’s meaning is provided by the notion of main meaning focus. the question does not make much sense. consequently.

(1983). A study on the physiological distinctiveness of emotions is Ekman et al. Barcelona (2000). Panther and Radden (1999). Representative collections of recent research on metaphor as well as metonymy include Gibbs and Steen (1999). but see also references in chapter 13 on the universality of metaphors.322 METAPHOR by Grady (1999). and Dirven and Pörings (2002). . Kövecses (2000a) discusses the universal as well as the culturespecific aspects of the anger is a hot fluid metaphor.

conceptual metaphor can be seen as a special case of blending. not all cases of blending are metaphors (e. size. the metaphorical linguistic expressions used within a small space can activate in the reader a number of distinct conceptual metaphors. and many others. control. See also Main meaning focus (of conceptual metaphor). Blends are cases where understanding of a sentence (or some nonlinguistic message) involves the conceptual integration. shape.” Each such aspect consists of elements: entities and relations. yielding simple metaphors at one end and complex metaphors at the other.” are not). See Experiential basis (of metaphor). Metaphorical mappings between a source and a target obtain between these elements. manner. See also Mental space. See Conceptual domain. Central mappings are mappings that are involved in projecting the main meaning focus (or foci) of the source onto the target. See also Conceptual domain. Blends. Simple metaphor. or “fusion.Glossary Aspects of conceptual domains. Conceptual metaphors can be placed along a scale of complexity. 323 . I call these “aspects of domains. Basis of metaphor. Primary metaphor.g. ordinary metaphor can be reworked in literature.” of two domains into one—a new mental space. function. . Complexity of conceptual metaphor. such as purpose. cause. See Experiential basis (of metaphor). It works by combining several conventional conceptual metaphors in a few lines or even within a single line. Combining. Both source and target domains are characterized by a number of different dimensions of experience. Central mappings. Bodily motivation (for metaphor). See also Complex metaphor.. Concept. metaphorical. Combining is one way in which a conventional. The latter function as mappings within the complex one. Entailments. However. Thus. . See also Mappings. Thus. Complex metaphor. A complex metaphor is composed of simple or primary metaphors. counterfactual sentences like “If I were you .

Conventional knowledge. Cultural variation (in metaphor). When one conceptual domain is understood in terms of another conceptual domain. Conventional knowledge is everyday. while the same conceptual metaphor shows cultural variation at the specific level. These lessconventional. This knowledge involves both the knowledge of basic elements that constitute a domain and knowledge that is rich in detail. Conceptual metonymy is a cognitive process in which one conceptual entity. and I / I took the one less traveled by” are more novel than the cliched expression “I’m at a crossroads in life. See also Universality of metaphor. Some conceptual metaphors are deeply entrenched and hence well known and widely used in a speech community (such as love is fire). Conceptual motivation for idioms is the idea that the meaning of many idioms seems natural. This detailed rich knowledge about a domain is often made use of in metaphorical entailments. In those cases where a conceptual metaphor is universal.” to us because either metaphor. Thus. See Experiential basis (of metaphor). the target. of any coherent segment of experience. Conceptual metonymy. This understanding is achieved by seeing a set of systematic correspondences. Conceptual metaphors may be more or less conventional. within the same conceptual domain. See also Mappings. provides mental access to another conceptual entity. Conceptual motivation for idioms. whereas others are much less so (such as love is a collaborative work of art). nonspecialist knowledge about a particular domain that is shared by speakers of a linguistic community.” Correlations in experience. we have a conceptual metaphor. See also Entailments. Correspondences. Conventionality of metaphor. In metonymy. or conventional knowledge links the nonidiomatic meaning of the constituent words to the idiomatic meaning of these words taken together. See also Mappings. although they both come from the conceptual metaphor life is a journey. or “transparent. its universality obtains at a generic level. Conceptual metaphors can be given by means of the formula a is b or a as b. To understand a target domain in terms of a source domain means that we see certain conceptual correspondences between elements of the source domain and those of the target domain. where a and b indicate different conceptual domains. they can be placed along a continuum or a scale of conventionality. or ICM. A conceptual domain is our conceptual representation. or knowledge. We often call such representations “concepts. or mappings.” such as the concepts of building or motion. both the vehicle entity and the target entity are elements of one and the same conceptual domain. or novel. Conceptual metaphor. The less-conventional ones can be called “novel (conceptual) metaphors. Multiple motivation for idioms. that is. metonymy. between the two domains. See also Experiential basis (of metaphor). Conceptual metaphors may vary crossculturally and within a single culture. The limiting case of within-culture variation is individual variation in the use of metaphor. the vehicle. the lines by Frost “Two roads diverged in a wood. metaphorical expressions are especially prevalent in poetry. .” Metaphorical linguistic expression reflecting a particular conceptual metaphor can also be more or less conventional. metaphorical.324 GLOSSARY Conceptual domain. Correspondences.

perceiving structural similarities between two domains. Folk understanding (of a conceptual domain). Their cognitive function is to organize the local metaphors into a coherent metaphorical structure in the text. For example. we have rich knowledge about the behavior of hot fluids in a container. See also Experiential basis (of metaphor). we will feel justified in creating and using the conceptual metaphor anger is a hot fluid in a container. Extending.GLOSSARY 325 Domain. Experiential basis (of metaphor). felt experiences of their bodies in action that provide part of the fundamental grounding for language and thought. human experience. We have nonexpert. See also Aspects of conceptual domains. and so on. The aspects of domains are constituted by (conceptual) elements: entities and relations. Entailment potential. Elaboration. metaphorical. It works by elaborating on an existing element of the source domain in an unusual way. and this justifies for us conceptually linking the two domains. They are large-scale metaphors (megametaphors) “behind” a text that underlie other. cognitive. Folk theory (of a conceptual domain). we experience the interconnectedness of two domains of experience. “Embodiment” has a number of different uses in cognitive linguistics. nonexpert knowledge comes in a more or less structured form. according to which embodiment involves people’s subjective. I have adopted Gibbs’s general definition. metaphorical. When such knowledge about the source domain is carried over to the target domain. including correlations in experience. Embodiment. Mappings between domains are based on these elements. Embodiment. The interconnectedness between the two domains of experience may be of several types. It is typically achieved by introducing a new conceptual element in the source domain. The experiential basis of metaphor involves just this groundedness-in-experience. if we often experience anger as being connected with body heat. See also Conceptual motivation for idioms. or cultural. Specifically. a conventional conceptual metaphor that is associated with certain conventionalized linguistic expressions is expressed by new linguistic means. When this kind of naive. For example. Extended metaphor. Entailments. Elements (of aspects of domains). ordinary metaphor can be reworked in literature. Elaboration is one way in which a conventional. or motivated by. biological. The experiences on which the conceptual metaphors are based may be not only bodily but also perceptual. in the anger is a hot fluid in a container metaphor. Source domains have a large set of potential entailments that can lead to metaphorical entailments. naive views about everything in our world. more local metaphors (called “micrometaphors”). Extending is one way in which a conventional. In it. See Conceptual domain. Conceptual metaphors are grounded in. we call it “folk . See Folk understanding (of a conceptual domain). Metaphorical entailments arise from the rich knowledge people have about elements of source domains. These potential entailments constitute the metaphorical entailment potential of the source domains in structural metaphors. Extended metaphors occur mainly in literary texts. we get metaphorical entailments. ordinary metaphor can be reworked in literature.

by specific-level ones. As conceptual metaphors. function. They are composed of generic-level source and target domains. they are commonly unconventional. See also Conceptual domain. Main meaning focus (of conceptual metaphor). and complexity (which see). about what a journey is. Each source domain is associated with a particular meaning focus (or foci) that is (are) mapped onto the target. Invariance principle. These metaphors occupy a high level on a scale of generality on which conceptual metaphors can be placed. See Idealized cognitive models. Kinds of conceptual metaphor. and the like. Intracultural variation (in metaphor). Generic-level metaphors. See also Main meaning focus (of conceptual metaphor). See also Aspects of conceptual domains. Thus. of the several aspects of a target domain. Two input spaces can be related to each other as source and target domains. See also Conceptual domain. Image-schema metaphor. Conceptual metaphors can be placed on a scale of generality: some metaphors are at the specific level. we have specific-level metaphors and generic-level metaphors (which see). the main . as linguistic expressions. Levels of generality of conceptual metaphor. level of generality. the force-schema. Literary metaphors. Generic-level metaphors are instantiated. the contactschema. of the several aspects of a target domain. The ones that are not in focus are said to be hidden. See also Specific-level metaphors. and orientational (which see). Conceptual metaphors can be classified in a variety of ways. while others are at the generic level. Highlighting. This meaning focus (or foci) is (are) conventionally fixed and agreed-on within a speech community or subculture.” These folk understandings of the world include our knowledge about the behavior of hot fluids in a closed container. Literary metaphors are found in literary works and are especially prevalent in poetry. only some are focused on by the source domain. the metaphor emotions are forces is instantiated. For example. In highlighting. Input space.326 GLOSSARY understanding” or “folk theory. See also Blends. such as the path-schema. Hiding. The invariance principle states: map as much knowledge from the source domain onto the target domain as is coherent with the image-schematic properties of the target. See also Aspects of conceptual domains. and a huge number of other things. The source domain is said to highlight these aspects of the target. They are skeletal in the sense that these source domains do not map rich knowledge onto the target. about what wars are. In hiding. nature. Utilization. Different types of metaphor serve different cognitive functions. ICM. We can classify them according to their conventionality. Three major types have been distinguished: structural. Idealized cognitive models. See Cultural variation (in metaphor). about how machines work. Image-schema metaphors are based on “skeletal” image-schemas. ontological. Idealized cognitive models are structured conceptual representations of domains in terms of elements of these domains. Thus. Function of conceptual metaphors. Input spaces provide conceptual materials for a blended space. some are focused on by the source domain. they are commonly conventional. by the specific-level metaphor anger is a hot fluid in a container. or realized. or realized.

and conventional knowledge.g. Metaphorical linguistic expressions. there are many metaphorical linguistic expressions that reflect a particular conceptual metaphor. See also Extended metaphor. Image-based metaphors include image-schema metaphors and one-shot image metaphors.. See also Blends. See Experiential basis (of metaphor). such as metaphor. A mental space is a conceptual “packet” that gets built up “online” in the process of understanding sentences (or other nonlinguistic messages). Mental space. This is what is most commonly “imported” to target domains. Motivation (of metaphor). See also Image-schema metaphor. metonymy. One-shot image metaphor.g. when we use to be at a crossroads to talk about life. Mental spaces are created in particular situations for the purpose of understanding and thus are smaller and more specific than conceptual domains. Metaphorical entailments. Nature of metaphor. See Conceptual metaphor. Usually. when we compare the rich image we have of a woman’s body with the rich image of an hourglass. at the level of the superordinate concept of event characterized by its several source domains). Micrometaphors. See Entailments.” Megametaphor. Conceptual motivation for idioms. metaphorical. For example. These correspondences are technically called “mappings.. The meaning of an idiom is motivated in multiple ways when the idiomatic meaning can be linked to the nonidiomatic meaning of the constituent words by not only one but several cognitive mechanisms. Metaphor. This can happen at a specific level (e.GLOSSARY 327 meaning focus of the source domain of fire is intensity.g. Mental spaces are not the same as conceptual domains. See Extended metaphor. Multiple motivation for idioms. One-shot image metaphors involve the superimposition of one rich image onto another rich image. Metaphors may be based on basic knowledge concerning conceptual domains (sometimes called “propositional knowledge”) and knowledge concerning images. this metaphorical expression comes from the domain of journey. One-shot image metaphor. Micrometaphors are local metaphors in a text that are organized into a coherent metaphorical structure by extended metaphors. We have metaphor systems when a number of different individual source domains jointly characterize various aspects of a single target domain. although they make use of them in the process of understanding.. Metonymy. See also Invariance principle. See also Conceptual motivation for idioms. For example. at the level of concepts such as argument or anger characterized by their sources) or at a generic level (e. Metaphor systems. . we bring into correspondence two rich images for a temporary purpose on a particular occasion. These cases are called “one-shot” metaphors because. Conceptual metaphors are characterized by a set of conceptual correspondences between elements of the source and target domains. Prediction (of metaphor). we get a one-shot image metaphor. such as life is a journey. idioms) come from the terminology of the conceptual domain that is used to understand another conceptual domain. in them. Mappings. Metaphorical linguistic words and expressions (e. See Conceptual metonymy.

such as theories are buildings. Personification can be regarded as a type of ontological metaphor (which see). or things. Questioning. Primary metaphor. fire. and the like. they can also manifest themselves in nonlinguistic ways. However. Source domains are typically less abstract or less complex than target domains. Ontological conceptual metaphors enable speakers to conceive of their experiences in terms of objects. in the conceptual metaphor life is a journey. such as building. Conceptual metaphors can become manifest in several ways. Realizations of conceptual metaphors. plant. in-out. Simple metaphor. See also Complex metaphor. (abstract) organization is physical structure. social action. can apply. body. All these entities and events have a main meaning focus (which see) for us within a culture. in terms of human beings. Questioning is one way in which a conventional. persistence is being erect. In it. Simple metaphor. A simple metaphor is one that emerges from what we find important in connection with basic physical entities and events that make up the human world. See also Complex metaphor. Conceptual motivation for idioms. it claims that the metaphors that do exist are motivated or have an experiential basis. pressurized container. art. such as in cartoons. human body. For example. A primary metaphor is one that emerges directly from correlations in experience.328 GLOSSARY Ontological metaphors. For example. Primary metaphor. such as up-down. The scope of a metaphor is the entire range of target domains to which a given source domain. The mappings that constitute this meaning focus (or foci) are simple metaphors. Instead. ordinary metaphor can be reworked in literature. purposes are destinations. sports. Personification. the writer or the poet calls into question the appropriateness of a conventional conceptual metaphor. substance. Personification conceptual metaphors involve understanding nonhuman entities. Scope of metaphor. machine. and containers in general. journey. without specifying further the kind of object. plant. as in more is up. We use the source domain. Orientational metaphors. and others. or container. a conceptual domain. substances. and so on Several primary metaphors can be joined together to form complex metaphors. war. fire. and so on. the central mapping (which see) (abstract) development is physical growth derives from the plant source domain within the scope of the metaphor complex abstract systems are plants. See also Experiential basis (of metaphor). . The cognitive view of metaphor does not claim that we can predict what metaphors there are. Source domain. to understand another conceptual domain (the target domain). the conceptual domain of journey is typically viewed as being less abstract or less complex than that of life. Prediction (of metaphor). and so on. One major way is through language. either within a single culture or cross-culturally. war. They thus impute human characteristics to things. which is constituted by the last two primary metaphors. Orientational conceptual metaphors enable speakers to make a set of target concepts coherent by means of some basic human spatial orientations. center-periphery. such as journey.

a conceptual domain. but then the metaphor has a special noneveryday function. Utilization. this is the natural direction. because of the large number of languages spoken around the world. it would be impossible to obtain conclusive evidence for the universality of any single conceptual metaphor. This understanding is based on a set of conceptual correspondences between elements of the two domains. of the generic-level metaphor emotions are forces. with the help of another conceptual domain (the source domain). See also Mappings. in the conceptual metaphor life is a journey. while the others remain unutilized. See Conventionality of metaphor. In conceptual metaphors. Thus. Unidirectionality of conceptual metaphor.GLOSSARY 329 Specific-level metaphors. only some aspects of the source are utilized in metaphorical mappings. Specific-level metaphors are instantiations. We try to understand the target domain. Conceptual metaphors that can be found in all languages are universal. the metaphor anger is a hot fluid in a container is an instantiation. The (possible) universality of conceptual metaphors largely exists at the generic level. For example. such as the event structure metaphor. Universality of metaphor. or special case. or special cases. See also Cultural variation (in metaphor). Structural conceptual metaphors enable speakers to understand the target domain in terms of the structure of the source domain. metaphorical understanding goes from the more concrete and less complex to the more abstract and more complex. Target domains are typically more abstract and subjective than source domains. Obviously. See also Highlighting. They are composed of specific-level source and target domains. Target domain. the conceptual domain of life is typically viewed as being more abstract (and more complex) than that of journey. . With metaphors that serve the purpose of understanding. Unconventional metaphors. Structural metaphors. In metaphorical utilization. See also Generic-level metaphors. Some candidates for universal metaphors have been suggested. of generic-level ones. The reverse direction can also sometimes occur. Specific-level metaphors occupy a low level on a scale of generality on which conceptual metaphors can be placed. the understanding of abstract or complex domains is based on less-abstract or less-complex conceptual domains.

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shared goal. (a) love is a magnetic force (b) anger is a natural force (c) love is a natural force (d) sadness is a natural force Abstract domains: (a) (c) love. game–card game. Common 331 . journey–sailing. Target: politics/history (b) Source: a sport race. (a) Source: journey.) 3. Source: buildings Target: theories the foundation of a building the basis of the theory support evidence strength plausibility construction creation collapse of a building fall of a theory 5. 4-f. (b) opinions. cost some time. 1-d. p. (Christian) life is a (sea) journey 4. Target: economic development 2. (c) king/father. God is a sea captain. (See Lakoff and Johnson 1980. Unique aspects of the source domain of game: cheating. food–banquet. 3-a. family. (d) sadness and anger 5. Chapter 2 1. Aspects unique to the source domain of journey: effort.Solutions to Exercises Chapter 1 1. Common source domains: war. person. (a) father. prize. competition. (b) shepherd. sleep. 3. put aside some time. rules. 5-c. the thief of time 4. 2-e. waste/spend/gain/lose/buy/invest/budget/save/rob/give/steal time. life is a gambling game. 51. plants. run out of time. 6-b 2. have some time left.

. love is fire Some examples of unconventional metaphors: love is clockworks. Some examples of conventional metaphors: love is blindness. awareness. . the future. night is a blanket Chapter 4 1. Emily Dickinson: “The distance that the dead . love is death (drowning). for example. the body is a container elaboration and combining ⇒ love is an intoxicating drink 2. love is thirst. social constraints are physical constraints 5. (a) virtue is up—depravity is down (b) high social status is up—low social status is down (c) happy is up—sad is down (d) health and life are up—sickness and death are down 2. Ezra Pound: “A Girl”. (a) happiness is a captive animal “C” (b) love is an incurable disease “E” (c) life is a story “C” (d) high social status is up “C” (e) love is a unity “C” 3. a person is a building (a palace) roof head rampart body windows eyes throne heart pearl and ruby teeth palace door mouth banners hair 3. love is an object. intimacy is physical closeness. personal space is physical space. argument. The city is a person 4. (a) check the promise of equal human rights funds guarantee of human rights to cash the check to obtain the human rights (b) Source domain: financial transaction of valuable commodities Target domain: acquiring human rights Metaphor: acquiring human rights is a business transaction/ monetary exchange. human rights. See.332 SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES target domains: politics. power. guaranteeing human rights is granting funds. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar 5. (c) Mappings: human rights are valuable commodities/cash. love is a nutrient drink. Shakespeare’s works. a person is a bounded entity. the object of live is a child.”. the united states Chapter 3 1. the following works: Richard Aldington: “New Love”. passions are beasts inside the person 4. the promise (of providing equal human rights) is the check (d) elaboration ⇒ money .

e. sickness: passivity. (a) immigration is a flood (b) negative (movement is a flow. Highlighted and Utilized Aspects progress desire intensity loss of control . At the beginning of the dream. G. I am under her spell. 1990. sad is down. (i) (ii) and (iii) Harry (a) They express more content or meaning.. Chapter 6 1. A.g.. evoking the conceptual metaphor love is a bond. Advertising as Communication. large quantities are masses) Immigration is seen as a threatening force from which the country should be protected. Chapter 7 1. Frank feels terrific that his financial problems will soon come to an end. lying (in bed) health: activity. London: Routledge. This is reinforced by the woman kissing the man. valuable). Reference: Tanous. 1982. e. He is burning with love. 4. (b) The position of the slogan has a strategic role.SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES 333 Chapter 5 1. soaring refers to happiness. Look how far we’ve come. happy is up. long lasting. cultural root: dance evolved from sex 5. It is placed between the two people. Dream Symbols and Psychic Power. New York: Bantam. Metaphor love is a journey love is a nutrient love is fire love is magic Example It’s been a long bumpy road. a career/an argument/marriage is a journey 3. (b) more of content is more of form 3.g. (a) love is a precious metal (durable. Gray. and T. Reference: Dyer. the American flag—Union ⇒ the union of states is the physical union of stars Uncle Sam—America ⇒ a state is a person Eagle—freedom ⇒ freedom is uninhibited self-propelled movement 2. love is fire: Physical experience: felt increase in body temperature love is a journey: purposes are destinations conceptual metaphor 2. I am starved for love. walking/acting/standing erect 4.. Plunging indicates that he is depressed as he did not receive his inheritance.

sadness is a natural force Highlighted Aspects Passivity Lack of control Negative character Negative character Hidden Aspects Cause Attempt at control Behavioral responses Cause Attempt at control Cause Attempt at control Negative character 2. Shakespeare questions the validity of the metaphor death is sleep. He was insane with grief. Parts of the . (a) Linguistic Examples 1. Time heals all sorrows. the moods of the ocean. She was ruled by sorrow. sadness is a disease Cause Attempt at control Behavioral responses Attempt at control 7. 3. etc. He drowned his sorrow in drink. 5. 10. He is in a dark mood. 9. 3. 2. the phases of life are compared with the moods of the ocean. Waves of depression came over him.334 SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES 2. That was a terrible blow. His feelings of misery got out of hand. Conceptual Metaphors sadness is a natural force sad is down sad is dark sadness is a fluid in a container sadness is a physical force sadness is a disease sadness is insanity sadness is an opponent sadness is a captive animal sadness is a social superior (b) Conceptual Metaphors 1. sadness is a physical force Intensity Attempt at control Loss of control Passivity Sudden impact Negative character Passivity Behavioral responses Lack of control Attempt at control Loss of control Lack of control 6. Parts of the source utilized: the waves of the ocean. Extension of the source concept sleep to dreaming. 7.g.. others are the same because similar aspects are highlighted in the two target concepts. 4. 4. and the many creatures/things to be found in the ocean. Life is described in comparison with the ocean (the days of life are compared with the ocean waves. He brought me down with his remarks. sadness is insanity sadness is an opponent sadness is a captive animal sadness is a social superior Attempt at control Passivity Passivity Attempt at control (c) Some happiness metaphors are the opposites of sadness metaphors (e. 8. happiness is up/light/vitality).). 9. 8. 10. sad is dark 4. the gifts we can find in life are compared with the shells and “treasures” we can find on the shores after stormy or calm weather. I am filled with sorrow. 6. sad is down 3. sadness is a fluid in a container 5. The life is an ocean conceptual metaphor is the dominant one in the piece.

and so on Chapter 9 1. (b) Target domain: complex system–company. the way we perceive the emotion is clearly based on our bodily experiences. Chapter 8 1. produce. persuade. help. the effect is not a durable entity) and (b) the process of causation that takes place between the cause and the effect must be longlasting (and in the second example. 3.SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES 335 target highlighted: the phases of life. heart as the location of the emotion for the emotion. restrain. the unpredictability of life. (c) Target domain: ideas. therefore. give. emotion is a social superior. a united effort of some kind. Entailment: plants secure their position and gain life-sustaining nourishment by growing roots.” The different conceptual metaphors are used simultaneously. thinking. serve as vehicles in metonymically understanding fear. inspire. physical reactions to fear stand for fear. convince. (a) life is a journey. withering is a sign of coming to an end. flowers reach the final stage of development when blooming in full. force. 2. . 4. . (d) Target domain: problems. love is a journey Entailments: circular movement—aimlessness of life (b) people are plants Entailments: flowers are easy to crush—women are easy to harm 2. drive. (e) Target domain: facial expressions–smile. put. permit. The physiological and physical changes in our bodies that result from the emotion. (a) metonymy (physiological effects of fear stand for fear. get. . the poem is an example of combination. emotion is an opponent. (a) Target domain: ideas. let. emotion is a physical force. push. Because (a) both the cause and the effect must be durable entities (and in the second example. There are other conceptual metaphors as well: life is a journey (life has “phases”). Entailment: branches are living and essential parts of the tree. life is a mystery. the more branches a tree has. and so on 3. allow. and life is a precious possession. the harder it is to remove it or choke it. and heart for the person–part for whole. Source domains: sea journey. as well as the behavioral reactions that we have as a response to the emotion. Entailment: typical plants. behavioral reactions to fear stand for fear) (b) Our understanding of fear is embodied. Entailment: the deeper rooted a plant is. and the many gifts/things life has to offer. Entailment: a plant withers before it dies. have. thinking. the larger it is. )/ But beyond this mystery lies one certainty/ While you can never know what gifts life will bring/ You can trust that every sunrise offers possibilities. make. it is a momentary action). fight for freedom. The latter two conceptual metaphors are combined in the following lines: “The phases of life are as unpredictable as ( . start.

and only family members. fall short/sick/victim/prey to/in love/for somebody. Falling is an accidental physical change.336 SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES 4.. (a) argument is sport (b) life is sport (c) business is sport (d) politics is sport (e) life is sport (f) politics/government is sport (g) a love relationship is sport (h) politics is sport (election is a race) 2. It is the accidental nature of falling that is mapped onto nonphysical changes of states. his face fell (a) health conditions. (a) up/high (b) good quality: (1) (6) (9) (social) status: (5) (7) (10) (12) happiness: (2) (4) (8) career: (3) success: (11) (13) 4. and think they get to know the famous person better since they can see her “real” face without any make-up. a person is a container. Most women wear make-up when appearing in public.g. and close associates see their real faces. Chapter 11 1. social conditions. friends. Underlying conceptual metaphors: knowing is seeing. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) animals—great chain plants—complex systems animals—great chain complex objects—complex systems animals—great chain . E. The real self is inside the container. Entailments: Wearing make-up conceals the real face of a person. Chapter 10 1. blocks the view of reality. Not wearing make-up reveals reality and provides additional knowledge. emotional states. complex systems are machines (a) law (b) politics/democracy (c) politics/election (d) projects (e) economy (f) law (g) economy (h) military organizations Overarching metaphor: complex abstract systems are machines 3. The guests seeing/meeting/ listening to the celebrity will feel as if the famous person was “closer” to them. and so on (b) Scope: Any accidental change of state/condition.

purposes are destinations. (f) plant—complex systems (g) animal—great chain Target domains: (a) an organization (b) a state (c) politics/foreign policy (d) economy (e) politics (f) theory/plan (g) society focus: the structure of an abstract complex system is the physical structure of the human body complex systems metaphor (sub)system (a) friendship is a building (b) friendship is a machine (c) friendship is a plant (d) friendship is a machine (e) friendship is a plant (f) friendship is a plant (g) friendship is a plant (h) friendship is a machine (i) friendship is a plant (j) friendship is a plant (k) friendship is a plant Jimmy is the bear. changes are movements. 3. heavy. 5. but he is ready to defend his beloved ones if necessary. shy. Jimmy is a big and strong man. and Alison is the squirrel. though she doesn’t seem to be too smart and experienced. We know that bears are big. but he is innocent. 2. long term purposeful activities are journeys. in contrast. (a) physiological/behavioral effect for emotion (b) physiological/behavioral effect for emotion (c) physiological/behavioral effect for emotion (d) physiological/behavioral effect for emotion All of them are effect for cause metonymies. Alison is an attractive woman with big eyes. for example: progress is motion forward. He can become emotional. strong. and somewhat slow animals which become aggressive only when they have to defend their partners. Squirrels. difficulties are impediments to motion Chapter 12 1. The event structure metaphor. 4.SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES 337 2. and somewhat lazy at the same time. (a) producer for product (production icm) (b) producer for product (production icm) (c) the object for the user of the object (control icm) (d) the place for the institution (e) the place for the institution (f) controller for controlled (control icm) . and they seem carefree but never careless. are relatively small and nice animals.

lack of sexual desire is lack of fire 3. McDonald’s > name for corporation and people working there: (business) competition is war (b) He pushed her > whole for part > his hand emotional distance in a relationship is physical distance (c) He pulled the trigger > whole for part > his finger pulled the trigger dying is falling Chapter 13 1. Metonymies: (a) (c) (f) (h) Metaphors: (b) (d) (e) (g) 4. 5. (a) See table on next page. (a) (i) lust is fire (ii) lust is hunger (iii) lust is a hot fluid inside a container (iv) lust is an opponent in a struggle/war (v) lust is insanity (vi) lust is physical agitation (vii) lust is war/opponent (viii) lust is rapture (ix) the object of lust is food (x) lust is hunger/eating (xi) a lustful person is a wild animal (xii) lust is fire (xiii) lust is a hot fluid inside a container (xiv) lust is a magnetic force (xv) a lustful person is a functioning machine . (b) People have the same physiological experience concerning anger: that is. and so on. increase in body heat. (c) There are cultural differences.338 SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES 3. pressure inside. (a) Burger King. (a) love is fire (b) love is an illness 2. (a) (the object of) sexual desire is a physical force (b) sexual desire is insanity (c) sexual desire is an electric force (d) sexual desire is a physical (magnetic) force (e) sexual desire is war (f) sexual desire is insanity 3. the object of sexual desire is food (b) and (ii) sexual desire is fire. (1)–(5): the lustful person is a wild animal (6)–(10): the lustful person is a domestic animal/an animal that lives in their immediate environment 2. and the concepts may have culture-specific aspects to them. in (b). Chapter 14 1. In (a). the hitting is deliberate. (a) and (i) sexual desire is hunger. it is accidental.

3. (a) LANGUAGES METAPHORS the body is a container for the emotions anger is fire anger is the heat of a fluid in a container anger is insanity anger is an opponent in a struggle anger is a dangerous animal the cause of anger is physical annoyance causing anger is trespassing anger is a burden anger is a natural force English + + + + + + + + + Hungarian + + + + + + + Chinese + + Japanese + + + + + + Polish + + + + + + Zulu + + + + + + + + + + + + .

which focus on the satisfying of sexual desire. (f) (not) knowing is (not) seeing (g) the mind is the body (h) Conventional knowledge: The wider/more you open your eyes. committed (7) a day for celebration (8) be angry (b) (1) conventional knowledge. your hands are red. marriage is an alliance. lust is physical agitation. Blood is red. Chapter 15 1. a lustful person is a functioning machine (d) Romance novels use the lust is fire conceptual metaphor most frequently. the conceptual metaphors the object of lust is food and lust is hunger/eating are the most common. marriage is a division of labor. (a) the eyes are limbs = seeing is touching (b) (not) knowing is (not) seeing (c) loving visual behavior stands for love (d) the eye stands for looking (e) Conventional knowledge: If one has eyes at several places on the head. Possible conceptual metaphors: marriage is social status. lust is rapture (c) In pornographic magazines: a lustful person is a wild animal. (i) looking at something stands for desiring it (j) (not) knowing is (not) seeing or deceiving is causing not to see 4. 3. metaphor the cause of anger is a perceptually salient object (3) metonymy redness for danger. lust is a magnetic force. In pornographic magazines. (a) (1) deficit (2) enraging experience (3) warning (4) lustful (5) respectful (6) extreme. 4. Conventional knowledge: Stabbing someone causes the blood to flow out of the body. lust is war. he/she will be able to see more. metonymy redness for danger (2) conventional knowledge. and your hands will probably be bloody. lust is insanity. metaphor intensity is salience . the more you can see.340 SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES (b) In romance novels: lust is an opponent in a struggle. so if you are guilty. (a) anger is a hot fluid in a container (b) drop in body temperature stands for fear (c) the manner of production stands for the product (d) the mind is a container (e) love is a unity 2. the focus of which is the intensity of the desire.

etc.. happy is up—sad is down. destruction. (2). be driven insane > be crazily in love. serious damage 2. desire. (a) troubling the mind > worry about something: heart problems > difficulties generated by emotions. Sense (1) is the central member of this category of senses. 1987).a. affection. state of being decayed. (1) affection—love for the properties (attitudes and behaviors) it assumes (2) affection—love for the properties (attitudes and behaviors) it assumes (3) darling/lover—love for the object of emotion (4) admire/like—basic sense (5) admire/like—basic sense (6) admire/like—basic sense (7) love relationship—love for the relationship it produces (8) intense emotion—basic sense (9) admire/like—basic sense 2. play someone’s cards right > use efficient strategy to achieve something (b) Metonymies: mind for thoughts in the mind. 1. such as love.SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES 341 metonymy blood for sexual desire conventional knowledge metaphor intensity is heat. a purposeful action is motion forward. Senses (2) and (3) are extended senses. and between (1) and (3) (see Lakoff. have no or unclear knowledge about something. Metonymical relationship between (1) and (2). destroyed. (1) healthy body: central/prototypical sense (2) healthy complexion: ‘resulting from a healthy body’ (3) healthy exercise: ‘productive of healthy bodies’ Healthy has senses (1). 4. metaphor intensity is salience conventional knowledge. mental activity is the physical manipulation of objects . overthrow. something which has decayed. love is madness. been 3. 2. 3. be in the dark > not understand something. etc. heart for emotions inside the heart—container for contained. metaphor intensity is salience metonymy interference with accurate perception stands for anger 5. Metaphors: knowing is seeing. back down > give up. and (3). Example: ruin n. stop a purposeful action. where metonymy is the principle of extension. (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) Chapter 16 1. cause of ruin 1. to cause the ruin of central sense result for action collapsed result for action destroyed. life is a gambling (card) game.b. be down > be sad. cause for effect action for result v.

people are animals conceptual metaphor. quick. it can be projected onto the story of the person involved in the (previous/future) relationship.342 SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES Chapter 17 1.g. strong. it can be projected onto the story of the divorced partners. it can be projected onto their story. and so on. Said at the office. John Winthrop. We can project a specific proverb onto an abstract story that might include a number of specific target stories. The two input spaces create a blend in which the nineteen-year-old boy is fighting against the twenty-year-old Mike Tyson in order to be the youngest world champion. stupid. and when those in control are inattentive. (e) Generic space: If we have been hurt. Rabbit: smart.” “American Jerusalem” 3. a match.g. and the time of the match. (a) Generic space: One agent or group of agents constrains another agent or group of agents in their behavior. physical appearance. (d) Generic space: Threats rarely entail real aggression. Said about business. The blend includes specific information from both source and target besides abstract information (event structure. the match of the nineteen-year-old boy in 2010 makes Input1 and Mike Tyson’s match at the age of twenty in 1986 makes Input2. Nehemiah. we take precautions not to get hurt again. This is a mirror network. Said about people who often shout. Relation between two input spaces: animals are people metaphor. which can be interpreted through projection: we project the overt source story onto a covert target story. the otherwise constrained agent or agents behave more freely. it can be projected onto the story of businessmen. Las Vegas corresponds to Las Vegas. the year of 2010 corresponds to the year of 1986. Said about a divorce. 2.. Generic space: strong leader/governor in a community Input I1: Old Testament story of Jewish leader. There are systematic correspondences between the elements of the two input spaces: the nineteen-year-old boy corresponds to Mike Tyson. (c) Generic space: One cannot change the thing(s) that he/she has done. Piglet: cowardly. Tigger: cunning. etc. talking) Input I2: Animal characteristics (e. in Jerusalem Input I2: Puritan governor. Proverbs often present a compact.). the place of the match. Said about love relationships. There are two input spaces. it can be projected onto the story of boss and workers.. In the generic space. people are animals conceptual metaphor. clumsy. Owl: clever) Blend: Animals with human characteristics 4. Generic space: Animate beings with characteristic features Input I1: Human characteristics (e. Talking animals are a conceptual blend: they reside in the blended space of animals with human characteristics. (b) Generic space: Doing something before others ensures success in an undertaking. in New England Blend: “New English/American Nehemiah. there is a boxer. people are animals conceptual metaphor. the characteristics of the nineteen-year-old boy correspond to the features of Mike Tyson. Eeyore: stupid. . and psychological character ⇒ Winnie the Pooh: stupid. implicit story.

Boston: Irwin Professional. or travel companions.. (a) In the blend. one input space is the insects slowly dying in the roach trap. speeding. Reference: Belch. love is war. traffic jam. E. . Chapter 18 2. highway. G. roadmap. road rage.SOLUTIONS TO EXERCISES 343 5. (a) career is a journey (b) Elements of the target that could be used creatively: dead-end street. and another input space is the men unfaithful to the women in the focus group. An Introduction to Advertising and Promotion Management. 1990. and M. Belch. (b) a relationship is war. directions.

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